Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11

    Default How is Property Divided After a Short Duration Marriage

    My question involves a marriage in the state of: New Jersey

    I have a question regarding division of property in a divorce. Please let me know what would happen in the following situation -

    - My wife and I have been married for two years.
    - Prior to marriage, we both owned property
    - Her property is in her name only. My property is in the name of me and my brother. However, the mortgage has been in my name only since 2011. My brother has not paid a dime since 2007.
    - Since we have been married, we did not commingle finances except for one small joint account. We kept our separate bank accounts for convenience.
    - Since we have been married, I have been paying my mortgage out of my own separate bank account, and she has been paying her mortgage out of hers.
    - We are both living in my house.
    - Both houses have nearly equal mortgage payments.

    My understanding is that because we bought our properties before the marriage and neither of us have put a penny into the others, they will be considered non-marital properties. Therefore, she could not go after my house and I could not go after hers. Either that or the 2 years of mortgage we paid on the houses out of our separate accounts would be considered, but since it is basically a wash, it would probably be negligable if any payment one way or another.

    Please let me know if that is accurate or not.

    Additionally - if say my brother got divorced, could her wife go after my property despite the fact that my brother has not paid anything in over a decade? We bought it in 2005 and he moved out in 2007. There was an error and when I did my refi in 2011, his name was not taken off. I know that is stupid but I signed about 50 documents so I thought one of them would take care of the property deed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    14,667

    Default Re: Divorce

    If you are both using marital funds (current wages) to pay your respective mortgage payments then any equity accrued during the marriage would be marital property. However, if, as you said, your respective mortgage payments are roughly equal, then yes, its likely that it would be a wash or close enough to a wash to be a negligible issue. An exception to that would be if one of you was closer to the front end of a mortgage where most money was going to interest, and the other was closer to the back end of a mortgage where most money was going to principal.

    Additionally - if say my brother got divorced, could her wife go after my property despite the fact that my brother has not paid anything in over a decade? We bought it in 2005 and he moved out in 2007. There was an error and when I did my refi in 2011, his name was not taken off. I know that is stupid but I signed about 50 documents so I thought one of them would take care of the property deed.
    It sounds like the home you own was premarital property for your brother, and that your brother has not put any marital funds into the property. Therefore, it would be difficult for his wife to make any claim against the property. However, it would probably be a good idea for you and your brother to consult a real estate attorney about getting him off the deed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: How is Property Divided After a Short Duration Marriage

    Where did the money come from that was put into your separate accounts and then used to pay the mortgages? If the answer is each of your earnings during the marriage, then the fact that the payments were made from separate accounts isn't particularly relevant.

    That said, given the very short duration of your marriage, and assuming no other significant marital or non-marital assets or debts, I would be hard pressed to believe you wouldn't settle the property division by basically taking away from the marriage what you brought into it.


    Quote Quoting kpark1996
    View Post
    Additionally - if say my brother got divorced, could her wife go after my property despite the fact that my brother has not paid anything in over a decade? We bought it in 2005 and he moved out in 2007. There was an error and when I did my refi in 2011, his name was not taken off. I know that is stupid but I signed about 50 documents so I thought one of them would take care of the property deed.
    Anyone can "go after" anything. That your brother hasn't paid anything on the mortgage isn't relevant to what might happen in a divorce between him and his wife (I assume your reference to "her wife" was a typo). You might want to talk with your brother about having him deed his interest over to you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: How is Property Divided After a Short Duration Marriage

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    Where did the money come from that was put into your separate accounts and then used to pay the mortgages? If the answer is each of your earnings during the marriage, then the fact that the payments were made from separate accounts isn't particularly relevant.

    That said, given the very short duration of your marriage, and assuming no other significant marital or non-marital assets or debts, I would be hard pressed to believe you wouldn't settle the property division by basically taking away from the marriage what you brought into it.




    Anyone can "go after" anything. That your brother hasn't paid anything on the mortgage isn't relevant to what might happen in a divorce between him and his wife (I assume your reference to "her wife" was a typo). You might want to talk with your brother about having him deed his interest over to you.
    My brother is willing to adjust the deed. The reason we have not is we dont want to pay the taxes involved (i.e. real estate transfer tax, etc.). We are in the process of moving anyway so we were just going to sell it.

    I guess I will rephrase though. What is the realistic exposure if my brother gets divorced? He only split the old mortgage with me for a couple of years. Also of note...he moved out before he got married so he has never paid a dime during his marriage.

    Finally...I agree that the most likely scenario is that we would leave with what we brought in. My wife has a concern that "I would get half her house but she would only get a quarter of mine because your brother is half owner". Given the first response, I dont believe that could happen. But is there a scenario where we would be forced to sell both homes and then divide the value (her full home and half mine) between us?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    794

    Default Re: How is Property Divided After a Short Duration Marriage

    If you guys agree to leave with what you came in with, I don't think a court will MAKE you sell.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: How is Property Divided After a Short Duration Marriage

    Quote Quoting kpark1996
    View Post
    My brother is willing to adjust the deed. The reason we have not is we dont want to pay the taxes involved (i.e. real estate transfer tax, etc.).
    I'm not sure what other taxes you're concerned with, but a transfer of your brother's interest without consideration almost certainly would be eligible for a total exemption from the real estate transfer tax.

    Quote Quoting kpark1996
    View Post
    What is the realistic exposure if my brother gets divorced?
    No way to opine intelligently about that without having any relevant facts.

    Quote Quoting kpark1996
    View Post
    is there a scenario where we would be forced to sell both homes and then divide the value (her full home and half mine) between us?
    In the abstract, virtually anything is possible, but that would be extremely unlikely.

    Quote Quoting kpark1996
    View Post
    I agree that the most likely scenario is that we would leave with what we brought in. My wife has a concern that "I would get half her house but she would only get a quarter of mine because your brother is half owner". Given the first response, I dont believe that could happen.
    Although you didn't say so expressly, I assume you're contemplating divorce (otherwise, this thread would be awfully weird). If you or your wife files for divorce, given how short your marriage has been, you'd be foolish to take the case to trial. Most divorce cases settle by way of a marital settlement agreement, and courts virtually never refuse to adopt a mutually agreed settlement agreement (again, especially so in the case of a very short marriage). The outcomes about which you're concerned would only be possible if you mutually agreed or one of you refused to settle and forced a trial (again, extremely foolish).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: How is Property Divided After a Short Duration Marriage

    What about gift tax?

    Also, we have a child so if we went to trial it would be over custody. I assume if we are spending money there we would argue property too.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Property Division: How are Debts Divided if Spouses Kept Their Funds Separate in a Short-Term Marriage
    By glowinangel19 in forum Divorce, Annulment and Separation
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-16-2017, 07:16 AM
  2. Division of Assets: Does a Foreign Marriage Affect How Property is Divided in Divorce
    By lawfacts in forum Divorce, Annulment and Separation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-23-2017, 07:19 PM
  3. Division of Assets: Is Settlement Money from an Injury Prior to Marriage Divided in a Divorce
    By Ochsy03 in forum Divorce, Annulment and Separation
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-02-2014, 05:33 AM
  4. Lights, Signs and Traffic Controls: Amber Light Duration Was Too Short (Only 3 Seconds)
    By amcp in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-12-2012, 12:40 PM
  5. Rights of Omitted Spouse to Claim Separate Property After a Short-Term Marriage
    By Grenzo in forum Estate Planning, Administration and Probate
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-26-2011, 10:05 AM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources