Will I be awarded 1/4 of the value of my home in a divorce in CA?

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Will I be awarded 1/4 of the value of my home in a divorce in CA?

I’ve been married for 13 years. My husband has never worked but receives
money every month from his parents. He is not disabled but he is diagnosed
bipolar disordered.

My parents-in-law gifted my husband and I cash to purchase a house four
years ago. So we own the house outright.

All four of us are listed on the title Me, Husband, Mother in law, Father in law
I think in that order?. My mother in law made it clear at the time that this
was a gift for me as well as my husband, and she made sure to explain that I
would be listed on the title. I signed all the papers upon purchase along with
them.

In preparation for a divorce, I want to make sure that this kind of gift will hold
up as mine in court. Especially if my Mother in Law decides to say it was a gift
to my husband and I was just on the title as a formality or something.

The cash was never deposited into our bank accounts we only have one
joint, but was instead wired directly from my mother-in-law to the bank in a
few large payments.

We have not claimed the ‘gift’ on our taxes, which I realize is something I
might need to rectify. Meeting with an accountant next week.

Questions
1 Will I be due 1/4 of the value of this home since I am on the title?
2 How should I file this ‘gift’ on taxes?

Asked on January 30, 2019 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Even if you were on the title as a "formality", if you are on the title, you are an owner and are entitled to your share of the equity in the home when it is sold or if the family/divorce court gives the home to the other owners but orders them to buy out your share. Everyone on a home's title is an owner, and as an owner, entitled to share in the equity (amount after paying costs of sale and paying off any mortgages or liens).


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