I'm currently represented by an attorney but need a second opinion on
this matter as it is an extremely important issue. I would appreciate answers
from someone with actual experience in such cases instead of just
researching the case from precedents and family code.
1-Married since 1984
2-In Novemeber 1999, purchased a rental property for $300K via 1031 exchange
3-Downpayment 100K from community funds
4-On date of purchase, wife quitclaimed property to me as sole owner.
Wife would not give reason but I thought I had nothing to lose, so I
5-Wife, a CPA and in charge of the family finance, established a
separate account in my name only, to manage this property. Property
was self-sustaining. No co-mingling of community funds to the best of
my knowledge. Wife managed property, collected rent and deposited into
this account. Mortgage payment made from this account.
6-In November 2001, wife filed for separation. No significant
appreciation since Novemebr 1999 on DOS.
7-In March 2002, I started collectingd rent and essentially took over
management of the property after finding out that wife had been
embezzling rent monet and not depositing into bank account.
8-Meanwhile, property has appreciated 400K since DOS.
9-Trial is finally coming up on Sept 29th, 2006.
10-My assumption had been that the property was community property
until my new attorney alerted me that this might not necessarily be
the case. I read about the Mathews case, which seems to support my
attorney's point. I also learnt about the Moore/Marsden rule, but do
not know if that applies to quitclaimed properties. Wife is extremely
financially savvy and has been engaging in various dubious trading and
real estate acitivities, there was no undue influence on her to sign
the quit claim and she knew what she was doing As a matter of fact, it
was not even my idea. Wife had taken out over 100K from various credit
cards just before DOS and basically robbed me blind. So maybe this is
Do I have a strong case to argue that the property is separate? What
would be the best way to argue this?
What would be the interests assignment to me and wife?