Does my husband have rights in property given to me by my father?

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Does my husband have rights in property given to me by my father?

While I was married my father transferred a piece of property he had owned by himself into a joint tenancy with himself and I with the right of survivorship. Now I am getting divorced and my husband is claiming that he should get a piece of it as “marital property” but my father never intended for him to get any of it just me and maybe my children (whom my husband doesn’t want nor have any custody of). I want to know whether I should be worried that my husband might get a piece of it and , if so, would transferring my part of the deed to my daughter’s name until the divorce is over work?

Asked on July 17, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that property acquired prior to marriage, inherited property, or gifted property (your case)  remains separate. Accordingly it does not become part of the marital estate and is therefore not subject to equitable distribution. The only exception would be if marital assets were used to maintain or improve the property. In that case either the property may have "transmuted" (i.e. been turned into) marital property or the other spouse may be entitled to reimbursement and/or a share in the increased value of the asset.

It sounds like it about time that you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area.


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