If my brother and I are co-owners of 2 properties totaling 80 acres and he and his wife get a divorced, would she be able to get any of the land?

Asked on February 25, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It depends on several factors. First, when the land acquired? If pre- or before his marriage, she'd have no right to it: a spouse only gets rights to assets or property acquired in or during marriage.
Second, even if acquired during marriage, how was it acquired? If you and your brother purchased it, she may have rights to it, since it would have been bought (presumably) at least in part with money acquired during marriage. But if you and your brother inherited it, she would have no right to it: spouses do not get rights to their spouse's inheritances during marriage, as a general matter. 
Third, how is the land owned? Her right to get part of his share of the property may be affected by whether you and he own it as "joint tenants with right of survivorship," or JTROS, or as "tenants in common."
You are advised to bring copies of the deeds/title to a family law attorney and review wth him all the circumstances of how and when the land was acquired in order to better understand what may happen her.


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