If my wife inherited a house, do I have any rightsto itin a divorce?

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If my wife inherited a house, do I have any rightsto itin a divorce?

Asked on November 10, 2011 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that assets acquired prior to marriage or inherited are treated as separate property; they are not viewed as a marital asset. That having been said, such property can be "transmuted"; (i.e. changed) into a marital asset. This can happen through the failure of keeping the property separate by commingling it with marital property. 

Was the deed kept in your wife's name alone? If so, that is good evidence (but not the only evidence) that her intent was to keep the property hers alone. Was marital property was used to maintain and/or improve the house? If so you may have a claim to it, or at least to reimbursement of a portion of joint funds used for those purposes (and any appreciation).

At this point, it might just be time to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area. They can more fully discuss your rights in this situation.


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