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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 09-02-2008, 02:05 PM
not2Bbitter not2Bbitter is offline
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Question Inheritance issues...?

Trying to give just the facts is tough, but I'll try.
My ex received an inheritance from his mothers estate about three years before we separated. With it, we decided to pay off our mortgage and buy a cottage.
For several reasons when we separated, I "walked away" from it all not trying to claim half of all the things I was entitled to. When we divided assets we did not include any asset that was purchased with money from the inheritance. I did what I felt was necessary at the time, and did it mostly out of guilt for ending the marriage. I just wanted out at that point at any cost.
Since then, he has a serious girlfriend and a brand new attitude.

He has moved our kids out of the house that he felt so strongly that he needed to keep them in before, and now collects $1500 a month in rent from it. He and the girls live with his girlfriend in a HUGE house (est. value of $475k) with a new pool table, hot tub and new $200 bed covers for the kids. I had to fight tooth and nail to get child support from him which is still not even the full offset amount.

I've had enough. Out of guilt, I have let him treat me badly, and I'm done with it. So, my questions are:
- how does the family court system really deal with inheritance? my lawyer claims that since the money was invested into jointly held matrimonial assets, I have the right to claim half
- how heavily does the court weigh the disparity between homes? Because the disparity right now is unjustifiable as far as I'm concerned. When they're at Moms they don't know if there will be water in the winter time, when they're at dad their biggest worry is if there's enough room in the hot tub for all their friends at once.

I'm trying to decide if I should pursue this or not. He owns three residences; two homes in the city and one four season 'recreational' home or cottage. He can afford all the best in life, while my children are doing their level best NOT to be ashamed to bring friends to Moms (one at atime due to size restrictions) I'm struggling with what my chances are if I take him to court..I can't actually afford the legal bill, but I don't know if I can't afford NOT to. Does anyone have any experience with this particular area?
FRUSTRATED & BROKE !
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:15 PM
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dadtotheend dadtotheend is offline
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Inheritance money has to be kept separate if it is to retain it's unique treatment under family law. Your case sounds interesting; the matrimonial home would appear to be divisible equally but if he can demonstrate that the inheritance money was directly used to buy the cottage, then he may have some wiggle room on that. The timelines between receipt of inheritance, separation and payout of mortgage might be relevant.

Sounds like an expensive argument for the lawyers to drool over.

What is really sad is that your kids have to deal with such a disparity in lifestyles between the two homes.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:20 PM
not2Bbitter not2Bbitter is offline
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As far as the cottage is concerned, when we bought it we paid $50k for it. At the time we separated, it was estimated (conservatively) to be worth just over $80. The cottage was not my decision to buy, I would have happily gone without it. But we did buy it and we both worked hard to fix it up and used his income and mine to do so. As far as that goes, I'm only looking for half of the "added value" that we put into it; roughly $15k.
The house is what I don't know about, and yes, I'm sure both lawyers are drooling in anticipation...but it was bought jointly, in both our names initially. We lived in it for three years before we paid it off with the inheritance. Does any one know how accurate my lawyer is in presenting it as fact that it should have been divided equally among our other assets at the time of separation? Anyone?
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:44 PM
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Sounds like the house will be split equally for sure. Do a forum and/or google search on division of matrimonial home and you will find tons o' info.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend View Post
Inheritance money has to be kept separate if it is to retain it's unique treatment under family law. Your case sounds interesting; the matrimonial home would appear to be divisible equally but if he can demonstrate that the inheritance money was directly used to buy the cottage, then he may have some wiggle room on that. The timelines between receipt of inheritance, separation and payout of mortgage might be relevant.

Sounds like an expensive argument for the lawyers to drool over.

What is really sad is that your kids have to deal with such a disparity in lifestyles between the two homes.
I have to concur. Inheritance money does have to be kept separate. If it is intertwined in family investments and holdings, you will have a difficult time proving that same was born from an inheritance.
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