AmI entitled to the downpayment thatI paid for our house ifI used separate property funds?

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2011

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AmI entitled to the downpayment thatI paid for our house ifI used separate property funds?

I put the entire down payment on the house we bought after we got married. I used money that I received from selling another property I owned before we were married. The house is in both our names. I paid all the mortgage payments, upgrades, and repair bills on the house. I also was the one to do all the maintenance on the house. I told my wife and others many times over the years that I would expect to receive my money back before dividing up any proceeds when selling the house in case of divorce. Am I entitled to my money back?

Asked on March 30, 2011 under Family Law, Oregon


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry that all your talk has come to fruition.  Generally speaking,  if you can trace the funds that were used as the down payment - selling the other property and putting the money down on the marital home - the yes, you can indeed get that money back "off the top" of the sale of the house.  However, once you were married and the house went in to both your names it was considered marital property.  It really may not matter that you were the only one who paid the mortgage, etc.  Once you are married the funds are marital funds.  I think you should seek legal help sooner rather than later.  Good luck. 

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