Monday, August 20, 2012

Be careful when adding your spouse to a deed in only your name

Gifting your spouse a half interest in your separate real estate creates a presumption that the property is marital and subject to equitable distribution, so says the Third Judicial Department in Campfield v. Campfield, which can be read by clicking here

More strikingly is the fact that the Court refused to Order a credit to the original owner spouse for the value of her contribution of separate property to the acquisition of a marital asset. This is the traditional approach that most matrimonial attorneys are familiar with.

The Third Department distinguished the scenario of inheriting money and purchasing marital property where a credit would be given from the situation before it when a party already owned property and than added a spouse's name to the property. 

The Third Department controls from the Canadian border in the north to the lower Catskills in the south and from the Vermont and Massachusetts borders in the east to the Finger Lakes in the west.  The Third Department includes just over half of New York's land area and contains about one seventh of the State's population.