What amI entitled to if property that my husband owned prior to our marriage has increased in value?

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What amI entitled to if property that my husband owned prior to our marriage has increased in value?

My husband owned property valued at 10,000 before we were married. During the marriage it has increased in value by over $100,000. Should I speak with a divorce attorney? In Murfeesboro, TN.

Asked on March 26, 2011 under Family Law, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

TN is what is known as an "equitable distribution" state. This means that all marital property will be divided in an equitable fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses.  This means that property will be distributed fairly, not necessarily equally.  However, that having been said, assets acquired before marriage typically remain separate property unless they become commingled with marital assets.  So the question becomes, were marital assets used to maintain or increase the value of this pre-marital property?  The fact is that appreciations or additions to property may be considered marital acquisitions.  For example, did you personally do anything to increase the value (e.g. "sweat equity").  If so, then it may have "transmuted" into marital property.  Even if it hasn't and remains separate property, you may be entitled to reimbursement of any money that you put into the property depending on the circumstances.  Right now you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area. 


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