House division in TX

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Latest post Sat, May 16 2015 9:22 PM by superman1. 14 replies.
  • Sat, May 16 2015 8:48 AM

    • Beiro
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    • TX
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    House division in TX

    Hi, 

    I bought a house after marriage by using my gift money from my parents before marraige, but I put both my wife and my name on top. I paid in full and no mortgage. Two months after I paid the house, my wife divorced me and tried to get half of the value of the house. A lof of people said it is presumption of gift that I put both names, so I should give her half of the value of the house. I was wondering how I can argue that and give her as less as possible. I was wondering if the house is divided by half, will I be able to get more reimbursement since I paid by my separate money from parents?

     

    Thank you for any advice. 

  • Sat, May 16 2015 10:01 AM In reply to

    Re: House division in TX

    I am not a lawyer but I was curious, so I googled community property in Texas.  I could not find a clear answer to your question.  Here's a link to one fairly detailed explanation on a lawyer's website.  You can see that it's not simple.

    Does your wife have a divorce lawyer helping her?

    Do you have a divorce lawyer helping you?

    If the answers are yes to the first question and no to the second, PLEASE do yourself a favor and hire a decent divorce attorney (and ask him or her your question).

  • Sat, May 16 2015 10:29 AM In reply to

    • Beiro
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    Re: House division in TX

    She has a lawyer and I do too. But I am not sure whether my lawyer is confident to fight for this and I want to see whether there are some other possibilities. Any suggestions will be helpful. Thanks! 

  • Sat, May 16 2015 10:41 AM In reply to

    Re: House division in TX

    I was divorced in a community property state (AZ). Community property laws are similar to TX.

    The people that say it was a gift are partly right. It's not so much a gift as it is a marital asset. It became a marital asset the minute you put both your names on the deed.

    Had you used the gift money to buy the house in your own name free and clear, it would have remained your sole and separate property.

    Now it's not just community property, it's joint ownership.

    And, no, you don't get a bigger share for using your separate money because your separate money no longer exists.

    Another thing I learned from my divorce: You'd better reach some sort of reasonable compromise with your wife ASAP. If you can't and you spend the next year or two in court until a judge makes a decision you will have made a pair of lawyers very happy as they take your money and put it into their bank accounts. Divorce lawyers love hostile clients who refuse to agree on terms.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sat, May 16 2015 11:08 AM In reply to

    • Beiro
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    • TX
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    Re: House division in TX

    actually, my wife refuses to talk to me and did not pick up phone or email or anything. She only wants to talk through lawyers. What should I do?  it seems like I will lose, and it is very hard to argue anymore...

  • Sat, May 16 2015 11:58 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
      Lawyer
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    • NV
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    Re: House division in TX

    Then let your lawyer handle it.  See if the lawyers can bring the two of you to a reasonable agreement otherwise you my pay most of the value of the home to your lawyer to fight about it in front of a judge.  But I agree with the others, having practiced in community property state (CA) it became a marital asset as soon as you put her name on it and made her legally 1/2 owner.

  • Sat, May 16 2015 12:29 PM In reply to

    Re: House division in TX

    Beiro:

    actually, my wife refuses to talk to me and did not pick up phone or email or anything. She only wants to talk through lawyers. What should I do?  it seems like I will lose, and it is very hard to argue anymore...

    Not much you can do except ride it out and hope for the best. But prepare for the worst.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sat, May 16 2015 2:07 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: House division in TX

    Had you used your gifted funds and kept it separate you would have a solid point...but by adding her name to deed I think you lost your odds of a point....sure, TX courts have latitude to make awards based on equity and not a rigid 50/50 ...but if it takes you 100 hours of legal bills at say $250 hr to get it 55/45 it may be an empty point to win?

    Unless you can find someting of "hers" that is now more like community property and you can barter.

    Per your post..you are now divorced?  Who is living there?

    You can keep a very very tight leash on your lawyers time and hope your EX spins her wheels with her costs --and give her 50% anyway.

    But absent better input from your attorney--seems a waste to spend large sums over a lost point or tiny shift of poit ....



  • Sat, May 16 2015 2:11 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
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    Re: House division in TX

    With one possible exception --IF she wqas engaged in adultry and that is part of the divorce action --it might help tip the 50/50  a bit in favor of the wronged party. Again ask counsel if its likley to matter.....



  • Sat, May 16 2015 3:50 PM In reply to

    • Beiro
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    Re: House division in TX

    I live in the house and she moved out because she abandoned me already. Actually I have a question about this post on avvo, does this one make sense to my case? Will I be able to argue and ask for reimbursement from the house? Thanks

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/divide-a-house-during-divorce-2141932.html

     

  • Sat, May 16 2015 6:06 PM In reply to

    Re: House division in TX

    I am in agreement with Jack.

    I actually put down $100k down payment on a house with my now ex wife, BEFORE we got actually even got married.

    My now ex wife, fought for 1/2 that down payment as well as all her legal costs.  

    Long story short, I could have fought a long legal battle, but in the end it could have ended with me paying large legal fees, not to mention taking alot of time.

    I ended up agreeing to 35% of the down payment and a meager amount toward her legal costs.

    It's no fun, but I think it makes sense to eliminate your emotions, and use logic.

     

     

  • Sat, May 16 2015 6:48 PM In reply to

    • Beiro
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    Re: House division in TX

    So you mean your ex got 35% of down payment and you got 65%? You also put joint title, right?

  • Sat, May 16 2015 7:27 PM In reply to

    Re: House division in TX

    Beiro:

    I live in the house and she moved out because she abandoned me already. Actually I have a question about this post on avvo, does this one make sense to my case? Will I be able to argue and ask for reimbursement from the house? Thanks

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/divide-a-house-during-divorce-2141932.html

    You asked the following question on avvo:

    "The house was purchased after marriage and both names are on the title. I paid in cash without mortgage. But I have a proof that my parents gifted the money to pay half the house and I paid the other half by my personal CD account money which I saved before marriage. My wife asked for 50% of the house to pay her. I know Texas is community property, but how much chance I can argue that I paid a lot more than her and she is not entitled to 50%, probably only like 20-30%. I really appreciate if there is a solution and an advice to reduce the hurt of losing a lot of money.

    Actually I found I may miss a little info that my wife uses 5% of her separate money. So the house is 5% of her separate money, 45% of my separate money, and 50% of my parents' gift to me. Does this law still apply to my case? Sorry that I wasn't clearly mentioned in the question since I was thinking my chance is too low and missed the 5% portion of my wife's money for the house."

    The information there conflicts with the information you provided in your original post. You didn't mention your CD or your wife's contribution.

    I don't know that it makes much difference but I bring it up to illustrate that the problem with getting answers on the internet is that the contributors don't get the full story, not like your lawyer gets when he sits down with you and gets all of your information and documentation.

    On avvo you got responses from three Texas divorce attorneys.

    Mark Poling: "You need to hire an experienced family law attorney to help you deal with this issue. Division of the marital estate is a very nuanced process and is especially difficult if you are talking about tracing the separate and community finances to see who owns what portions of the estate and or who is due a reimbursement. From the details you placed in your question it looks like the home is community property because you purchased the property after you were married and you and your wife's name are on the title. You may be able to argue for some kind of reimbursement, but that will be a hard argument and will require expert legal assistance."

    Charles Hardy: "From the facts, it appears that your separate estate may own 100% of the house. Consult an attorney and present your facts and financial records."

    Tho-mas Daley: "The house is 100% community property. You have a significant reimbursement claim from the community estate to your separate property estate. All this assumes you can bring court-admissible evidence that clearly and convincingly establishes the separate property character of the cash you paid.

    Here's the rationale:

    1. CHARACTER OF HOUSE: In Texas, property is characterized as separate or community (or, lord help us, mixed) at the inception of title. Not at closing. For real property, inception of title is at the moment you, she, and the seller(s) signed an agreed purchase/sale agreement. The moment that agreement was signed, the home became property of your community estate. There's a ton of case law on that issue and it's beyond debate.

    2. REIMBURSEMENT. You have a reimbursement claim against the community estate's equity in the home. As I said above, 100% of the equity in the house belongs to the community estate, but the community estate owes you the amount of separate property money that you put towards the purchase of the home."

    The concensus seems to be that you might have a claim for reimbursement based on the contribution of your sole and separate funds.

    But that's all I can agree on and there's no guarantee as to how it will play out in court.

    Your attorney will have to thoroughly review your situation and your evidence and then compile case citations to support a claim for reimbursement.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sat, May 16 2015 8:32 PM In reply to

    • Beiro
      Consumer
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    • TX
    • Posts 6

    Re: House division in TX

    Thanks, Jack. I am trying to figure out a best way. I will prepare for the worst, but I just hope my lawyer will at least know how to do it correctly. Just want to make sure there are some ways to at least lessen a little bit of the division for my ex. 

  • Sat, May 16 2015 9:22 PM In reply to

    Re: House division in TX

    yes, she got 35%.

    Lesson learned.  We were not even married at the time.

     

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