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Old 03-12-08, 12:23 AM   #1
Siu Blue Wind
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Do you guys have suggestions?

I need a name of an excellent lawyer that knows about the details of ownership regarding property.

My friend is going through a divorce and her husband had property from before they were married. She paid into that property but didn't get her name added to it because they were married and had kids. She has no proof (cancelled checks) that she paid into it and is afraid she is going to lose it.

They also have other property together that was given to them in inheritance.

The divorce lawyer only knows the basics.

He is out to mess her up royally and she needs help. My friend is located in Contra Costa. Hopefully she can find someone close.
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Old 03-12-08, 01:57 AM   #2
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I just went through a divorce last year, although it was quite a bit more amicable than what your friend is going through. We used a mediator, Les Morgan, in Walnut Creek. He is a retired Family Court judge, and may either be able to help her directly or recommend a good attorney. His phone number is (925) 279-3440. I believe he is still a practicing attorney, and I found him to be both fair and helpful.

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Old 03-12-08, 08:03 AM   #3
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Thanks, Jonathan. I'll give her the number today.
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Old 03-12-08, 08:18 AM   #4
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If the one property was her husband's before marriage, it's still his property. It's possible that the court might determine that she might have an interest in the property if there was still money being payed on the property after the marriage, but not necessarily. The fact that they were married and had children has no bearing on the ownership of the property, if her husband owned the property before they married. I would not expect any court to take my house away from me (yes, owned before I married) and give half of my assets to Mr. East Hill simply because he married me.



You say some property was inherited together? How? Property isn't usually bequeathed jointly. It's usually split into shares, so that these problems don't arise.

I mean, my mother would not will her real property to me and Mr. East Hill, she would leave it to me. Or, she would leave the real property to me and my remaining siblings, with the property to be sold and the proceeds to be split equally amongst surviving siblings. But she would not leave anything to the two* of us jointly.

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Old 03-12-08, 08:28 AM   #5
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I'm not exactly sure about what she meant by inheriting it together.

She wants to move out of the house (the guy is into drugs big time) but is afraid to because she might be considered as someone who "abandoned" it.
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Old 03-12-08, 09:18 AM   #6
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I'm not exactly sure about what she meant by inheriting it together.

She wants to move out of the house (the guy is into drugs big time) but is afraid to because she might be considered as someone who "abandoned" it.
This is messy.

He owned the house prior to the marriage? Then it's his. It could be considered partially community property after their marriage, if the court were to believe that she had contributed to the upkeep, purchase, etc.

She would not be regarded as 'abandoning' the property because it's not hers to abandon. Even if she is the custodial parent, she would not gain control of the property.

Put simply, I would fight any action on the part of Mr. East Hill to remove my* house from me. I would expect her husband to do so as well.

Her bigger problem is that if he is into drugs, then he has probably hidden a lot of assets from her. It's also possible that some of the property they've 'inherited' is actually laundered drug proceeds, in which case it could be seized by the government. I'm not buying the 'inherited together' story--either he inherited it, or she inherited it. Inherited property is not* community property. It belongs to the individual who inherited it. If I have my rich uncle Sixty Fiver die and leave me 2 million CCM bicycles, that's my property, not Mr. East Hill's. I don't have to give him a single bike. Nor do I have to leave it to Mr. East Hill when I* die.

She definitely needs an attorney to explain this all to her.


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Old 03-12-08, 12:43 PM   #7
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R. Kent Brewer
1981 N. Broadway, Suite 322
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
925-934-8988

He's representing my soon-to-be-ex-wife in our divorce, and I've seen his work with some friends' divorces. He is tough when needed, conciliatory when appropriate, and he knows his stuff. I would be very, very surprised if he cannot sort this out and get your friend the best possible outcome. That does not mean that I'm sure that he can get your friend 100 cents on the dollar, but I am sure that he will get your friend as much as any other could, and more than most.

I doubt he is cheap, but this is not a place to scrimp. Have your friend call him. Today, if possible.
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Old 03-12-08, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
I need a name of an excellent lawyer that knows about the details of ownership regarding property.

My friend is going through a divorce and her husband had property from before they were married. She paid into that property but didn't get her name added to it because they were married and had kids. She has no proof (cancelled checks) that she paid into it and is afraid she is going to lose it.

They also have other property together that was given to them in inheritance.

The divorce lawyer only knows the basics.

He is out to mess her up royally and she needs help. My friend is located in Contra Costa. Hopefully she can find someone close.

If he owned the property before they were married, he will likely be able to keep it... not sure what happens if she's been paying some of it.

Inherited property is usually exempt from what is considered 'marital assets' so clarification as to who actually inherited the property would be important. So, as an example, if I were married and I rec'd an inheritance from my father, that would not (supposedly) be considered during the settlement.

Your friend definately needs an excellent attorney... I am sure you'll get some good suggestions here...
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Old 03-12-08, 08:24 PM   #9
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Wow. I learned a lot here.

Thanks you guys, I appreciate this.

Bikingshearer, I knew you'd come through for me. I was going to call you but I hate bugging people.

I'll give her both numbers and she call call them both.
Thanks a heap.
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