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How do I protect my soon-to-be...

How do I protect my soon-to-be married child’s assets from a subsequent divorce?

  • February 6, 2017

When your child gets engaged you don’t want to have to think about a possible divorce….but there are times when our maternal instinct kicks in and we need to be prepared to protect our kids and our family.

While it may not be a very optimistic outlook on the impending nuptials, sometimes it is prudent thinking – and parents do know best. So, what does Mom or Dad do? They buy a home with their own funds, have their child pay the mortgage payments and put their son or daughter on the deed. That way if the marriage ends, that ‘loving’ in-law can’t take half the house in the divorce action.

Sounds like a sure bet, except property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be marital property until rebutted by the party contending the property is separate.  Just because the parent gave their child a home during the marriage doesn’t mean that the marital residence is separate in nature.  In fact, if the child has failed to demonstrate that the property deeded to him/her by their parents was their separate property, then the Court could find the house was intended for both parties and their son/daughter-in-law can go on their merry way with their share of the house in the divorce action.  Cease v. Cease, 72 A.D. 3d 1450 (Third Dept. 2010).

This is only one of many situations that we deal with on a regular basis. Contact Fred Clarke at SDG, LLP for a free consultation on Divorce and Family Law. For more information, visit https://www.stengerglass.com/practice-areas/family-law-and-divorce.

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