Gifts during marriage

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Gifts during marriage

My husband and I both received a gift money from his parents to buy a house. The gift letter was made out to both mine and his name. After 7-8 months, we decided to sell the house and move closer to work. Once the home was sold and we received the money in our account – my husband forced me to write a check and give back to his parents. And after few days his parents took the money and went out of the country. And 2 days after that my husband moved out of the house and is filing for divorce. I feel like I have been cheated. Can I claim half of the money that is given back to his parents from our joint account?

Asked on November 29, 2017 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't because you agreed to return the money: you write that you fact did "write out a check and give back to his parents." Whether you did that because he "pressured" you (as long as he did not threaten violence) or insisted that you had to do this doesn't matter: you could have refused to do this. Instead, in the law's eyes, you voluntarily (again, it is voluntary even if pressured, nagged, harranged, etc., since you had the right and power to refuse) chose to give the money to his parents. Having done that, you have no claim to get it back.


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