Prokopov v. Doskotch (App Div., 3rd Dep’t)

Plaintiff (hereafter “the wife”) and the defendant (hereafter “the husband”) commenced this divorce action in February 2013. The husband contends that certain rental property was incorrectly characterized as marital property. The husband maintains that the rental property was acquired by his mother and gifted to him.

The property was acquired by the husband’s mother in June 2008. Per the husband, his mother used funds from a joint bank account (between the husband and mother). In August 2008, the property was deeded to the husband from his mother. In September 2012, the husband deeded the property back to his mother.

The wife asserts that since the joint bank account was opened in August 2005, the husband’s mother had no income to place in the joint account and therefore the joint account must have been funded with the husband’s salary. Based on the wife’s assertion, as well as the fact that the husband deeded the property back to his mother around the same time the wife consulted an attorney about divorce, the court determined the rental property to be an asset of the marriage.