Can my wife claim property that she didn’t buy but I purchased?

Question: I am writing for my father. He is currently in the hospital due to surgery. My mother (his wife of almost 40 years) left him four days before his surgery. She has not worked for almost 16 years so my Dad has been supporting her.

They live in a house that my sister owns and my father has been helping to pay the house payment. My mother is already making a list of items that she says are hers, but she did not purchase with her own money.

What legal right does my father have? He has a monthly retirement check that he gets at the beginning of the month that she spends within a two-week period. My sisters and I are in our thirties so there are no custody concerns, it’s just financial. Please give me an idea of what he should do first.



I must preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed in Georgia, although, Cordell & Cordell, P.C. has attorneys located in Georgia that would be happy to discuss your case with you.

Generally, any property acquired during a marriage, regardless of the source of funds, would be considered marital property and both your mother and your father would have equal right to the property.

Until such time that a Petition is for dissolution is filed then technically your mother is not doing anything wrong. Your father needs to speak to an attorney in Georgia in order to protect his rights.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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