– from Randy R. in Menomonee Falls, WI

Question Details:

Before my marriage, I was given some land on which I built my home. During my marriage, I was gifted several other properties with homes on the land. These were gifts to me and maintained by me alone. Even though they were gifts, are they divisible marital property?

Family Law Attorney Response:

The division of that property will ultimately depend on the court’s decision which will be based on many factors. Some factors are whether or not you used joint funds to maintain the properties, which may make your spouse an investor of these properties. Another is whether you both lived at either of these residences.

However, in the case of Schwegler v. Schwegler 142 Wis. 2d 362, 417 N.W.2d 420 (Ct. App. 1987), the court decided that the land and built property were one item. They divided that and included one gifted property obtained during the marriage. The court did not mention the other gifted property obtained during marriage in regards to the property division. The husband appealed, and the court of appeals reversed.

My advice is to contact an attorney and discuss the details further.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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