In the event of a divorce, the legal concept of Equitable Distribution protects the right of the non-titled spouse to own a piece of their spouse’s property in consideration of their contribution to the economic partnership of the marriage. The end result is that the non-titled spouse who has contributed is taken care of financially in the event of a divorce.
Even if the titled spouse purchased the property before the marriage, the non titled spouse can possibly be awarded a portion of the increased value of that real property or business or account or chattel if the value increased over the time of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the more deference would be given to the argument that the non-titled spouse contributed to the increased value.
However, if the increase in value was passive, like a mutual fund in an IRA then it is less likely that the non-titled spouse would get a piece of the property which is a premarital asset purchased with separate property funds. Furthermore, if passive forces, like a pandemic, caused the decrease in value, the non-titled spouse could argue that valuation based on a prior date should control in the Court’s decision whether to award them a piece of that property item.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law.