The How and Why Behind Reimbursement Claims – Part I
Most everyone has heard of a reimbursement claim. They may not always enjoy going through the process – which can, at times, be quite convoluted – but they will if it means recouping qualifying expenses on anything from medical bills to insurance claims and even travel miles for work purposes.
Think of reimbursement claims in divorce-related matters the same way. Let’s say you and your spouse were married for 25 years, and in that time you used a portion of your paycheck to help satisfy the monthly mortgage payment for your spouse’s separate property. I say separate because the property wasn’t your primary residence (example: ranch house in the country, condo in Maui) and your spouse took ownership of it prior to the two of you getting married.
You’ve helped with the expense all these years, but now the marriage is ending. Time to recover some money, right?
Even though the money you contributed doesn’t change the character of said property (it’s still your spouse’s property), Texas law allows for the recovery of contributions made by one marital estate (you) to another (your spouse). Per the Texas Family Code this includes “monetary contributions as well as contributions of labor and skill.”
There are three factors that must be established by the spouse seeking reimbursement to prove a viable claim:
- That a contribution was made by one marital estate to another
- That the contribution was reimbursable
- The value of the contribution
While that three-step process may seem easy enough, this is where things get a bit challenging for the petitioning spouse. Over the course of the next several blogs, we will break down each of the three elements needed to successfully file a reimbursement claim. We feel doing it this way will make the process easier for you and your spouse to understand. It’s also a good idea that you keep this blog entry handy as we move along in the conversation.
Meanwhile, if you are going through a divorce and feel you are entitled to be reimbursed for specific expenses, contact Nelson Law Group, PC to learn more about how this law relates to your specific situation. As we’ve said time and time again, every divorce case is different, and requires a keen legal eye to decipher what is just and right for each party involved. We are always accessible, and we truly love hearing from our clients.