How to claim your share of equity in a house?

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How to claim your share of equity in a house?

My wife and I are seeking a non-contested divorce. She will keep the house. In the 4 years we were married, we together paid off $44,000 in principle on the mortgage from a joint checking account. Can I claim half of the $44,000, since it is added equity that she will have in the house?

Asked on October 4, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry that things did not work out.  But it is good that you and your wife have agreed not to fight about things from here on in.  An uncontested divorce is the best and fastest way for you to start on a new road to a new life.  Now, you and your wife seem to have already agreed that she will be getting the house in the divorce, but then you threw in that little issue in the end about "claiming" half the house.  You can agree about everything.  But it always good to know what your rights are before you sign them away.  You and your wife live in an equitable distribution state when it comes to division of property in a divorce.  Equitable does not mean equal but it is generally close.  If you have paid the house with jint marital funds for all these years and have acquired $44,000 in equity, that equity must be divided "equitably" between you.  Only by looking at the entire picture can one see if it will be half and half.  o go and get some help with this.  Good luck.


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