– from Mark L. in Delafield, WI

Question Details:

When my wife and I married, my parents gave me enough money to buy our home. We have been married for over a decade, but we're now getting divorced. Is the home considered separate or marital property to be divided even if I bought the home with gifted money?

Family Law Attorney Response:

It would honestly most likely be considered a divisible marital asset. This is not set in stone, but it's a likely scenario. This is especially true if both of your names were put on the deed. If not, it still may be considered joint property under many circumstances.

In the case of Weiss v. Weiss, 122 Wis. 2d 688, 365 N.W.2d 608 (Ct. App. 1985), as well as many other issues at hand, there was an issue of a home bought with gifted money. Upon appeal of the trial court's decision not to include the value, the decision was reversed on the basis that the property became a marital asset due to the equal interest in the home by both parties. This is true even in the case that there was an unequal contribution in order to gain the property to begin with.

My advice is to consult an experienced family law attorney right away to go over the specifics of the case. They will also be able to give you a best case scenario based on those details.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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