House Purchased by Husband and Girlfriend
If during the marriage I found out my husband invested in a home with another woman, can I be entitled to his share of investment.
You might be entitled to something, but as with most legal matters, nothing is as simple, or often as fair, as it should be. You'll have to consult with a matrimonial (divorce) attorney in your state, but here are a few thoughts on your question:
- Were the funds used marital funds? If he in fact used separate non marital property (e.g., an inheritance, gifts from a relative of his) they you might not be entitled to a claim on his interest. He might argue that if it was purchased with immune assets his interest remains immune. If he takes that approach you should try to prove that he spent marital money on maintaining the property to counter it.
- Can you prove that he invested any money in the property? You might have to have your lawyer try to get copies of the closing statements (HUD-1) on the purchase of the property. What if the woman paid for the entire price? Perhaps you might even prove that he paid the entire down payment and that the entire house is marital property even if he put the other woman's name on it. You might have a real investigative accounting job ahead of you.
- Who paid the expenses to maintain the home? Who paid for insurance? Were your marital funds used?
- If your husband took assets during the marriage and diverted them to non marital purposes, such as the purchase of the house, you might have a stronger cause of action then just to claim that his interest in the house is marital. Diversion of marital assets could be viewed very negatively by the court. Talk to the lawyer handing your divorce (or that handled it) and find out what further remedies their might be.
- You indicated in you question that wanted your husband's interest in the house. While from a moral and ethical perspective that might be fair in your mind, the courts may not take that view. Rather, they might just view the 1/2 interest (if it is that) in the house as a marital asset. That might result in you receiving 1/4 the value of the house ,or 1/2 his interest.
- What is the value of the house in today's market? Is there a mortgage? Is there any equity left? You might find that a claim that he dissipated the marital assets by buying and paying for the house is a better claim. In other words, your lawyer might argue that he should refund all the marital funds he diverted to that inappropriate use with interest. That might be worth a lot more than a house that has declined 40% in value.
- Remember the old saying "where there is smoke there is fire." Without meaning to upset you if your husband was brazen enough to purchase a home with another woman while married what other assets might he have diverted from your marital estate? You might want to have an accountant evaluate all his records (e.g., credit card receipts, etc.) to determine what else he did. You should get a title report on that house to determine if there is a mortgage, other liens, suits, etc. You should get credit reports on his name, your name and the other woman's name and do Internet searches as well. You can do some of this on your own and show it to your attorney. You might just find surprising information.
Hire a good local matrimonial attorney. And if you need a good forensic CPA to help ask the attorney since matrimonial attorneys deal with financial analysis issues all the time and are likely to know the good accountants to hire.