Your divorce lawyer will ask in-depth questions about the real estate and other property owned by both spouses as she takes the opposing spouse’s deposition. The questions will help identify marital property and divide the marital estate.
Following are some common deposition questions for spouses regarding their home and other marital assets they may possess.
The Marital Residence
- When did you acquire it?
- What was the down payment, and what was its source?
- Did either spouse invest money in an earlier home sale or pre-marital savings?
- Did a parent give the down payment as a gift?
- Did other siblings of the gift recipient get the same treatment?
- Was a “gift letter” written and presented?
- Did a parent “loan” you the down payment?
- Is the loan recorded in writing?
- Did the spouse who was not gifted a down payment know about the transaction?
- In what manner is the real estate titled?
- Is the property mortgaged? How much? Are there other lien holders? Who?
- Can you explain the balance on any mortgages or liens to your Los Angeles divorce lawyer?
- What are the monthly payments, including taxes and insurance included?
- What accounts did you use to pay the mortgage expenses?
- Who made the deposits into that account?
- Have you made any improvements, maintenance, or remodeling to the property since you bought it?
- How did you pay for these projects?
- Are any repairs and/or maintenance necessary?
- Have you obtained cost estimates? If so, what are they?
- Have you appraised the property? Explain when, by whom, and the appraised value.
- What is your opinion of the property’s value?
Other Real Estate
Similar inquiries will most likely be applied to other property owned by the spouses. Separate real estate owned by a married couple may come with different facts and issues. The attorneys for each spouse will need to ask additional questions relevant to his or her unique circumstances. For instance, spouses often hold interests in real estate partnerships that own business space and lease the space to the spouse’s business. Family farms are frequent targets for litigation regarding the non-farm spouse’s interests, and usually involve complex family partnerships, farms, and farm land that were handed down from generation to generation, or were the subject of IRS section 1031 exchanges. Another example is where the husband with home improvement experience settles into his wife’s home, and invests substantial sweat equity in remodeling and repairing, before the parties choose to divorce.
A qualified Los Angeles divorce lawyer can assist any clients going through a divorce or family law case. Please call the offices of Zonder Family Law at 818-309-7059 to arrange your initial Strategy Session.