Will my husband get half of this asset when we divorce?

Jenn (Guest) on Monday, October 01 2012, 07:27 PM
When my husband and I got married, instead of a having a big expensive wedding, my parents gifted me about $30K. We ended up putting the money toward the down payment on our home in Shrewsbury that we bought together. I am now filing for a divorce, will my husband get half of this asset?
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  • Replied by Attorney Stephen Morte on Thursday, October 04 2012, 07:11 AM · Hide · #1
    The key to your question is that they gifted the property and as such have made no condition of repayment. Judges in divorce actions attempt to divide up the marital assets in an equitable manner looking at a number of factors including the length of the marriage, the source of the asset and the contributions of the parties.

    The judges are required to review many factors and as such you should certainly hire an attorney that works in the area of matrimonial law.
    Replied by Attorney Amy Beth Baron on Thursday, October 04 2012, 07:14 AM · Hide · #2
    In Massachusetts, parties have three approaches to move through divorce. The traditional method involves you each being represented by an attorney and moving through the court litigation process. The second method is one in which you and you Husband may agree to a Collaborative Law approach where you are still represented by attorneys but the attorneys agree in advance not to go to court and have been trained to resolve the matter in a collaborative manner. The third option is mediation where a neutral third party helps you both make the necessary decisions to come to an agreement with the help of legal and financial professionals outside the mediation session. If you marriage is short in duration, the court is more likely to return the parties to the position they were in at the beginning of the marriage. The longer the marriage the less likely that will happen and the marriage will be looked at as a partnership. In the case of a short marriage you would suggest the gift was made to you and you alone and should be returned to you before the asset is divided. Your Husband may suggest the gift was made to both of you and therefore it should be divided equally. Testimony from your parents, the check itself, how it was made out, whether any gift letters were signed by your parents in regard to your mortgage application is all relevant. This is a good example of the many issues of divorce without specific rules or answers.

    As part of your strategy, consider the expense of an attorney to get in front of a judge to argue the point and possible alternative ways as mentioned above, to resolve this.
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