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Getting divorced in NY, we bought a home 6 months prior to marriage while engaged.

Q: The DP was paid out of a jt acct, but, I deposited 10k and wife deposited $100k from an inheritance.Funds only in acct for a week or so prior to buying home, but jt acct became our only acct during 13 yr marriage.I made many improvements on prop from day 1.My name was not put on mortg/deed when bought 6 mon before marriage even tho I was at closing and signed documents.Either my wife went back and re-signed or something but I was at closing and signed and was given keys, etc that day. Wife claiming I do not own the home, it is hers. 11 years ago we refinanced and my name was added to deed.House worth 750k, they are offering me 60K as a settlement from the time i was added to the deed in 2004. I think I am entitled to 1/2 of full value plus 1/2 the DP as it was gifted and commingled.

A: David's Answer: If your name was added to the deed, then it's presumptively marital property - which means you're presumptively entitled to 1/2 of the equity value. It's your wife who would need to prove the exception - that your name was added only to qualify for the mortgage & for no other reason. As this may be hard to prove, I'd suggest to try settling the issue (perhaps by giving her the separate property credit). Schedule a consult with a NYC Divorce attorney for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Bronx Divorce Attorney, (www.Blivenlaw.net)

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