Husband Not Entitled to Share in Appreciation of Real Property
In Gordon v. Anderson, 2020 Slip Op 00034, The First Department Appellate Division overturned the Bronx County decision insofar as it awarded the Husband 50% of the appreciation in the Wife's separate, real property. Although Husband claimed to have actively contributed to the renovations of the property, expert testimony that the home had appreciated during the marriage, without evidence linking the appreciation to the renovations, was insufficient to justify the award to the Husband.
In the same matter, the Wife was denied any separate property credit for the cash surrender value of her life insurance policy. Because she had not complied with Husband's discovery demands, the Wife was precluded from entering any evidence as to the value of the policy. The trial court therefore based the award on the entire cash surrender value, awarding 50% to the Husband. The Wife's failure to comply with discovery demands and other obstructionist behavior also led the trial court to award the Husband $41,355 in counsel fees.
If you or your spouse own a home and are getting divorced, you may wish to speak with one of our attorneys at Gordon, Tepper & DeCoursey to learn what rights you may have to share in the value of that property.