– from Janet L. in Pewaukee, WI

Question Details:

A few years ago, my husband and his sister inherited his mother's home. They decided to rent it out and split the income. I have managed the property and assisted in its renovation. I am currently filing for divorce. Other than the income from the rent of the house, he has a job as an analyst and makes pretty good money. We both managed the property together and shared our half of the income. I am not looking for a maintenance order, just for our assets to be divided equally. Will the value of his half of the home be included in the asset division?

Family Law Attorney Response:

First off, I would advise you to contact an attorney that is experienced in family law for an in depth look at all of your options and the best course of action concerning division of assets. Second, there are several ways this could play out in court.

In the case of Herlitzke v. Herlitzke, 102 Wis. 2d 490, 307 N.W.2d 307 (Ct. App. 1981), a similar situation occurred where the husband inherited a farm with his four brothers. He argued that since it was a gift, it should not be included in the divisible marital estate. The court did not agree. Gifts are normally not to be included in divisible property. Although, it is possible that this could be addressed in a different light if you took part in the management and renovation of the property, and further used the property to obtain joint income.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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