Thursday, November 10, 2011

Property Not Properly Conveyed Away from the Marital Estate is Marital Property; and Fraud Tolls Statute of Limitations on Quiet Title Actions

Grgich v. Grgich, 2011 UT App 214 (Utah Court of Appeals, June 30, 2011)
Husband and Wife divorced. Wife was awarded 1/2 interest in the parties farm estate where the parties had lived for the majority of the marriage.  Husband appealed claiming the property was deeded to the minor children and Wife's challenge of the deed was barred by the statute of limitations.  The trial court had concluded that Husband's acts of mortgaging the land without permission and over the objection of the children showed his lack of present intent to transfer when he deeded it to his children.  Because he lacked the present intent to transfer, the transfer to the children was invalid.  Further, the trial court found even he had the intent to transfer the property his fraud on Wife tolled the statute of limitations as to Wife because Husband himself had told Wife that it was invalid.  She relied on his statement and his actions of unilaterally mortgaging the property as proof that he was the one true owner.
The Court of Appeals affirmed.

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