If I want to buy a house, in my name only, not with my husband, and down the lane we divorce, is he entiltled to any part of my house?

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Not necessarily.  But this is far from a simple question.  You should talk to an attorney who is familiar with divorce law about this, before you make a decision.  One place to find a lawyer to advise you on this would be our website, http://attorneypages.com

I'm not an Illinois lawyer, and divorce law is different in almost every state.  However, some research suggests that, like many states, Illinois is an "equitable distribution" state, where marital property does not have to be divided 50-50, and the courts look at a number of things in making the division, including where the assets came from.  And, as in almost all states, while the starting point is that anything purchased during the marriage is marital property, no matter whether or not both spouses' names are on the property, there are exceptions, for inherited property and for property that was bought only with money that was not marital property (or was what was received for the sale of non-marital property and kept separate, with a paper trail to prove it), and a few others.

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The short answer to the question is yes as it is considered marital property acquired during the marriage.  Think about it like this:  if he was in your shoes, do you think it would be fair for him to tell you that you are not entitled to it?  Spouses often put property in their names so as to avoid the house from being liened in the event the husband is ever sued in busienss.  This is a common thing.  Most men put their house in their spouses name for this very reason - i.e. they will be entitled to the proceeds as it is marital property.

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