Property purchased during separation?


#1

I have heard that my soon-to-be-ex is planning on purchasing property with his new girlfriend. We separated in August and he has refused to negotiate/sign a separation agreement. He has control over the bulk of our marital assets and I suspect that is what he will be using to help buy this property. I have not signed a free trader agreement (and will not until he signs a separation agreement). If he does use marital assets to purchase property in his name, what right do I have to recoup my share of the marital assets? Will I have any claim on his new property? Thanks in advance.


#2

Since you do not have a separation agreement or equitable distribution court order then yes, you would have a marital interest in any property your husband purchases using marital funds (funds acquired between the date of marriage and the date of separation).

While property acquired after the date of separation is generally considered separate property, if marital funds were used to purchase the property, then it would be classified as marital property.

If your husband uses marital funds to purchase property after your date of separation but before a separation agreement is executed or an equitable distribution order is entered, then you would be able to include the newly purchased property in the marital estate as marital property, or at least the portion of the property that was purchased using marital funds, and it would be subject to distribution.


#3

Thank you.

I have a somewhat related question. I really want him to negotiate/sign a separation agreement regarding custody, equitable distribution and alimony. He is refusing to even consider it. Obviously he will want us to be divorced as soon as possible so he can go ahead with this purchase (our official separation date is August 2015). If we cannot come to an agreement and I file suit, will that delay the date that we can officially be divorced? Will the judge order the divorce if litigation is still pending?


#4

You can still get divorced while an equitable distribution suit is pending. A pending equitable distribution suit will not delay a divorce judgment (they are treated as two separate causes of action).

It is very important to note that once a divorce judgment has been entered, you are barred from filing an equitable distribution claim. So, you must make sure than an equitable distribution lawsuit has been filed and is at least pending at the time the divorce is entered.