My wife purchased a home several years back with money she received from an inheritance.
She did not put the paperwork in my name, so if she wants to sell the property, can she do so without my consent?
In Pennsylvania, inheritance received during the marriage is considered the separate property of the spouse who received it so long as it is not comingled with marital property (for example, deeded in both parties names, which you indicate is not the case here).
However, any growth in value of the inherited asset that occurred during the marriage is marital property subject to division upon divorce.
So in Pennsylvania, you would be entitled to any growth in the value of the home which has occurred since it was purchased. Therefore, if she sells, you may have an interest in the proceeds.
If she is refusing to include you in the process or to keep you informed, you may need to pursue this in court. However, where I practice, that would require a divorce to be pending, so you’d have to file before you could pursue your interest.
Once you are able to get before the court, you can request that you participate in the sale process to be sure it is being sold for the proper current market value so as not to diminish any proceeds to which you would be entitled.
An appraisal of the property will help determine if there’s been a growth in value since the purchase.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”