At what point should one become suspicious that his or her marriage is in trouble? While for one person, it may be a change in a spouse’s personal habits, for another, it may be a change in his or her working pattern. Whatever the event that triggers the notion, some California residents come to realize that, in fact, the deception may have been in place for quite some time before the idea of divorce comes to mind.
One California resident is considering the dissolution of her 14-year marriage following a revelation of what she thinks was a long-term intent to deceive on the part of her husband. Her husband already owned his home, but shortly after their marriage, the husband refinanced due to a fall in interest rates. In the days before he submitted the application, he asked his wife to sign a document, waiving her rights to the property. He claimed that this was due to the wife having a loan which had been in default, and this could adversely affect the application. She agreed to sign the document, as her husband had assured her that she would be reinstated on the title once the refinance had been agreed.
A holiday home was purchased a short time later, and immediately before finalizing the documentation, the husband presented his wife with the same waiver, using the same argument as before. Since that time, he has failed to reinstate his wife on either title. He recently confessed to her that this was a deliberate move on his part in an effort to avoid losing out to her in the event of divorce. The woman is also aware that she has not been named in her husband’s will nor on his life insurance. She now feels deceived, as well as being worried about where she now stands.
In California, assets owned prior to marriage do not form part of the community property assessment; however, all assets obtained during marriage do. The man’s efforts to remove his wife’s rights to marital assets could potentially be seen to stem from malicious intent. Such actions can backfire during divorce, potentially leaving one worse off than he or she might have otherwise been. Seeking advice appropriate to one’s circumstances can help to avoid misunderstandings about one’s rights and obligations.
Source: marketwatch.com, “My husband asked me to give up rights to our home a decade ago — and now we’re divorcing“, Quentin Fottrell, Nov. 2, 2016