When my husband and I got married, we eloped instead of a having a big expensive wedding. My parents were all for it and gave me a sizable sum of money to put toward a down payment on our house in Framingham that we bought together in (about $35K). I have just filed for divorce, and am wondering if my husband will be entitled to half of this asset?
Generally, an asset, such as the house will be included in the division of joint marital assets, if it was acquired during the marriage, even if your parents gave you the downpayment. If this is a short term marriage with no children, then you might have a claim to a greater share of the asset but if it is a longer term marriage with kids and your husband has made a significant contribution to the principal, interest, taxes and insurance, then he might get half of the asset.
You also need to determine how much you want the asset. If you have only had the house for a short period of time, it might be better to let your husband to buy out your share of the interest, or simply put it on the market for sale to a third party. In the latter situation, you could agree to a split of the proceeds, which might be 50 – 50 or some other ratio that you negotiate. If you have children, however, it might make more sense to hold onto the house until the youngest child graduates high school or college. You would use the money that you received from child support or alimony to support the house. At the point the children graduate, you could buy-out your husband’s interest, or put the house on the market and sell it.
Another negotiation point would be to make a trade-off of assets. If the house was important for you to hold onto, you could forego making a claim on his assets, such as retirement, stocks, or cash, in consideration for getting a larger share of the house. Everything in divorce is negotiable.
Attorney David Rubin is a Framingham divorce lawyer and provides legal representation to clients in communities such as Boston, Boston MetroWest, Framingham, Dedham, Marlborough, Natick, Needham, Newton, Waltham and Worcester.
David L. Rubin, Attorney at Law
Framingham Divorce Attorney
929 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA 01701
Telephone: (508) 875-9797
Boston: (617) 451-0707
Fax: (508) 820-1560