A divorce trial was held on which party was to get which property. One of the pieces of property had been owned by wife from before the marriage took place. It had been in wife’s name alone. Later, wife had signed a quitclaim deed to add husband’s name on the title. This took place during the marriage. The parties were now joint tenants.
Husband had prepared the quitclaim documents. He did not explain them to wife. Husband argued that it did not matter if wife did not read the deed when she signed it. He said that it did not matter that she did not understand the deed or not. She did sign it. Therefore, husband argued that he should be the owner of half of the property.
The court said that things are different in a divorce case. This case involved the classification of marital and nonmarital property. Wife said she had no plan to give any of her property at this address to husband. The court believed wife’s testimony.
Also, husband had used his own non-marital money to payoff the mortgage on this property. He expected that the Court would give him back this money, if the court said the property belonged only to the wife. The trial court instead said that this money was a gift from husband to wife. In other words, wife did not owe any part of this money to husband.
The Appellate Court did not agree with the trial court on this point. The Appellate Court said that wife was to reimburse husband for this amount from her non-marital property.
There was also an issue of how the real estate taxes had been paid on the property. Taxes had been paid from a joint account throughout the marriage. Wife had to repay the marital estate for all of the taxes that had been paid on the house. Both courts had agreed on this point.
In re Marriage of McBride, 2013 IL App (1st) 112255.
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