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Long v. Long

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
697 A.2d 1317 (1997)


Facts

When Richard Long (defendant) married his wife Mary Long (plaintiff), he owned a residence in Pennsylvania. In 1977, Richard sold the home, receiving $38,234 in proceeds from the sale. Richard placed $35,000 of that money into a joint savings account made payable to him or Mary. The couple later used the funds to purchase a home in Maine, taking title as joint tenants. In 1993, Richard and Mary separated, and Mary filed a complaint for divorce. The court determined that the Maine home was marital property in its entirety despite the source of funds used to purchase it, because Richard’s transfer of the $35,000 in sale proceeds of his Pennsylvania home to the joint savings account constituted a gift to the marital estate. The court also acknowledged that, notwithstanding the source of the $35,000 used to purchase the Maine home, at the time of the divorce proceeding, Richard had a greater earning capacity and a pension, while Mary had a smaller earning capacity and no pension. For these reasons, the court found that the property should be shared equally among Richard and Mary, awarding title to Richard as long as he paid Mary one-half the equity. Richard appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wathen, C.J.)

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