How are rights to property owned overseas prior to marriage determined in a divorce settlement?

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How are rights to property owned overseas prior to marriage determined in a divorce settlement?

I’m married to Dominican lady for a 9 years. Before she could moved to NY to live with me, I build a house in DR so that she would have a decent place to live. The house is on our both names. Is there a way, I can draw the paper and she would sign it, in which she’ll surrender all the legal rights to property to me and I’ll be the only owner?

Asked on September 25, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have two very different and distinct issues running through your question.  First you claim that the property was built by you prior to marriage - which would mean that it was separate property - BUT you placed her name on the property as a joint owner.  So there you have it: marital property.  So now, the property has to be included in what ever settlement agreement you come to with regard to joint assets.  Now two, iIf you and she do decide that she wishes to relinquish her rights to the house then I would NOT consider drawing up any document your self and I would not consider her signing it unless and until she is advised by an attorney on the matter.  Otherwise I think that you could ge in to a heap of problems later on.  


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