If I owned land prior to my marriage and built a home on it after I was married, can I get credit for the property in the divorce settlement?

UPDATED: May 24, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: May 24, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I owned land prior to my marriage and built a home on it after I was married, can I get credit for the property in the divorce settlement?

Spouse is co-signer on the mortgage.

Asked on May 24, 2011 under Family Law, South Carolina


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is a complicated accounting and depending on if your state follows equitable distribution or community property, the outcome could be different. Your land was your own and let's assume you payed for the taxes and upkeep on the land with your own separate income prior to marriage. Let's all say this land was leased to anyone wherein the proceeds from the rental went right back into the expenses of the land. Now, you get married and you and your spouse decide to build a home. Clearly, the home is a marital asset but if the court determines that home was considered an improvement to the existing land, then you may need to a very complicated accounting (CPA attorneys who practice family law are the best for this) to ensure your overall accounting is appropriate. So the short answer is probably. If your spouse is a co-signer, then your spouse's and your contributions to the mortgage and taxes and home improvement will be taken into consideration, including your separate incomes.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption