My wife’s parents gave us a large monetary gift to help us purchase our marital home, which is titled in both our names.
Now that we are divorcing, how does that gift affect the equity from the sale of the house it was used to purchase?
As I am licensed in Pennsylvania, I can only speak in reference to the laws of this state and provide you with general divorce help for men.
The monetary gift used to purchase the marital residence is of no consequence. To divide the equity of the home you should be looking at the total value as it currently stands.
Gifts made specifically to one spouse during the course of the marriage are exempt from classification as marital property.
However, even if the gift was originally given to one spouse alone, when that gift is either retitled in joint names or is used to purchase joint property, the gift itself becomes marital property.
When a spouse contributes non-marital property into a joint asset this is known as “transmutation.”
In your case, I am not clear whether the gift was made to one spouse alone or to you both. Either way, the money was used to purchase your marital residence, which is titled in both of your names.
Therefore, the monetary gift, no matter who the original owner was, was transmuted and became marital property at the time of purchase of the marital residence.
The equity you should be looking at dividing is the full amount of equity in the home. Do not subtract the value of the monetary gift used to purchase the home.
If you need detailed legal advice on divorce or wish to take specific action in this matter, you need to contact a mens divorce attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell does represent clients and nationwide.
To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Margaret M. Daly, a Staff Attorney in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office of Cordell & Cordell, please contact Cordell & Cordell.