Since my boyfriend is legally separated and we are planning to buy a house, if his name is on the house can is “wife” lay any claim to it?

they have been legally separated for 6 years and she had legal papers drawn up at the time saying they could live with whom they want to and no child or spousal support was expected. However, last year after she met me (I am the first long term girlfriend he has had since they split). She then decided that she wanted child support.

Asked on June 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you live in a community property state, community property is property acquired during marriage.  Community property also includes income during marriage.  Each spouse has a one half interest in the community property.

Separate property is property acquired before marriage or after the marriage ends.  Separate property also includes income before marriage or after the marriage ends.  A spouse has no claim to the other spouse's separate property.

Since your boyfriend and his wife have been separated for six years, this fact along with the document the wife had signed would be evidence of no intent to reunite.  A separation with no intent to reunite means that property acquired thereafter is separate property and the ex-wife would have no claim.  She would have no claim to the house your boyfriend purchases because the house is his separate property.  Her child support claim is an unrelated issue.

If you don't live in a community property state, other rules may be applicable.

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