Pricey Moneyist,

In 2012, my daughter and her husband (on the time) wished to start out a enterprise. She requested for a mortgage of $20,000 to start out the enterprise, however I made a decision to make that a part of her inheritance. So I gave them $20,000. Now they’re divorced, and he bought the enterprise. Can I ask him for the $20,000 again provided that the cash was meant for my daughter as her inheritance?

Any recommendation could be appreciated. They each stay in Michigan.


The Father in Naples, Fla.

Pricey Father,

You gave the cash to your daughter as an advance on her inheritance. That was your present to her, and he or she used it to start out a enterprise together with her husband, which makes that $20,000 and the enterprise marital or group property. It was, in authorized parlance, commingled.

You possibly can ask for it again, and enchantment to your brother-in-law’s generosity of spirit, however whether or not or not he agrees is one other subject. He’s below no authorized obligation to return the cash. There is no such thing as a cash per se to return. Wouldn’t it be good? Sure. Good etiquette? Perhaps. Good ethics? Relies upon.

Your former son-in-law, I assume, obtained sure property in his divorce out of your daughter in change for others. Maybe she obtained a lump sum, alimony, or a property. I do not know the small print, however they signed a divorce settlement to divide their property in a good and equitable method.

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I perceive why this would possibly stick in your craw, and you are feeling that the return of that cash could be the appropriate and correct plan of action. I don’t, in idea, agree or disagree with that. Do have any residual emotions about this man’s character, and/or how he behaved throughout their marriage?

If that’s the case, this might be simpler to unravel than the $20,000 query. Maybe you noticed him as a son and really feel personally betrayed. When you study your emotions about your former son-in-law, and put them to relaxation, you might be able to vanquish your unhappiness over the cash that you just gave your daughter.

Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch’s Moneyist columnist. You possibly can e mail The Moneyist with any monetary and moral questions at [email protected]. Wish to learn extra?Comply with Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand browse extra of his columns here.

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