Can my soon-to-be ex-wife make me sell a vehicle that I bought with SSI money and get 1/2 the proceeds?

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Can my soon-to-be ex-wife make me sell a vehicle that I bought with SSI money and get 1/2 the proceeds?

I am married 4 years; we live in a home I bought 25 years ago. My name is only one on title. I have 2 older vehicles – 1 I bought 30 years ago and 1 I got 16 ears ago (purchased from inheritance money). I bought another vehicle 2 years ago with SSI award money; I still owe and am paying for it. Can my wife make me sell my home and these items as she says she can or is it my personal property acquired prior to the marriage? I make $30K a year; she makes $49K per year. I have about $50K debt that has been acquired since the marriage ($40K is in student debt). How would this be handled?

Asked on October 26, 2011 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry that things have not worked out for you.  When a party decides to divorce the property owned must be divided in to two separate categories: marital property and separate property.  Separate property - be definition - is property acquired prior to marriage or is acquired during the marriage but is exempt from being placed in the marital "pot" so to speak.  Inheritance is once of those assets that are not included in the pot as is property purchased with the inherited money.  There are exceptions to this general rule which arise when separate property is alleged by one party to be marital, as is the case here.  Then the court looks at the intent of the parties to make separate property marital property - like adding some one to the deed - and then the court act accordingly.  I would speak with an attorney in your area on the specific issues here but really I think that you have the upper hand.  Good luck.  


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