Scenario: You and your spouse own a house that you bought together during your marriage. Your spouse moves out and abandons you 1 year later. You continue to live in the house and make all the payments. Five years later your spouse files for divorce. During that 5 years your house value increased by $40,000.00. Your spouse wants 50% of the latest value.
Answer: Why didn't you file for divorce during those 5 years? What stopped you? Even if the court finds that the spouse that abandoned you is at fault for the breakup of the marriage, the house will be valued at the time of divorce and not the time of separation.