Divorce Lawyers’ Information on Improving Community with Separate Property
Spouses who marry late in life are more likely to bring into the marriage separate property, and they may decide to use some community funds on such assets. This article discusses some of what Louisiana family law says about this.
Because it can be simply tedious for a reader to have a divorce lawyer simply regurgitate the law on separate and community property, this article seeks to put one aspect of this area of law into context through the example of Al and Denise. They have been married for twenty two years. About five years after they got married Al and Denise purchased a large lot in a suburban part of New Orleans. Subsequently, Al and Denise paid to have a large house erected on that lot. Both the purchases of the lot as well as the purchase of the house were affected using money that the couple had earned during the course of their marriage and from the employment which they had at that time.
About ten years after the house was built and fifteen years into the marriage, Al decides that he wants a pool house in the back yard. They have a bunch of undeveloped acres on their property, and they also already have a pool. Because they frequently have parties and other family events, Al thinks a pool house would be ideal. Denise could not disagree more. She feels that if they build a pool house that people will mooch off of them and ask to stay over all the time, including their divorce lawyer friend Charley. Also she is concerned that their two children will spend more time in the pool house than in the main house.
Nevertheless, Al decides he is going to have it built. Some time ago Al received an inheritance from his late grandmother for around one hundred thousand dollars. He had put that money in a bank account and did not touch it. Now, he withdraws exactly one hundred thousand and uses it entirely to build a large, opulent pool house. After it was built, Denise actually grew to really enjoy having it as well.
Now, in year twenty two of the marriage, the children have gone off to college and Al and Denise cannot stand one another. Al decides to hire divorce lawyer Charley. In the process of dividing the property, Al's infamous pool house becomes a particular bone of contention between them.
One article of the Louisiana Civil Code dealing with this type of situation is article 2367. Article 2367 says that if separate property is used to construct a building on community property, than that structure turns into community property. However, because of the partitioning of the property, Al's divorce lawyer argues the part of the law that says that the other spouse will have to reimburse the spouse whose separate property was used fifty percent of the value of the used separate property (subject to some limitations.)
In our example, Al inherited money. Generally, in Louisiana, money inherited by one spouse is considered that spouses separate property. Al used that separate property to build a structure on the lot that he bought with Denise. Because the lot was purchased by the two of them during their marriage and with money that they earned during the marriage, divorce lawyer Charley would most likely consider the lot community property.
This means that according to article 2367, the pool house is community property, and its value will be divided equally between the two spouses. However, remember that in this situation, Denise may have to reimburse Al for fifty percent of his separate property used to build the pool house.
The above is purely informational and not legal advice. Will Beaumont. New Orleans.
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Spouses oftentimes are able to agree on a many community property divisions. For such consent, it can be helpful to work with an attorney when submitting such a proposal to a court. For more on this, contact one of the Metairie divorce lawyers at Beaumont Divorce of Metairie, 3814 Veterans Memorial Blvd #302, Metairie, LA, 70002 (504) 834-1117.