Can property owned before marriage be protected in a divorce?

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Can property owned before marriage be protected in a divorce?

My brother was married 10 months ago, however it appears his marriage is not working out. My parents are concerned as they added my brother’s name on their home co-part owner with them (about 4 years ago). Does this mean his wife is entitled to a portion of my parents home? Would it help to remove my brother’s name off the home now in order to prevent her from claiming this in the future?

Asked on April 27, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Property acquired before marriage is separate property.  Your brother's co-part ownership in your parents' home was acquired before his marriage and therefore is his separate property.

Community property is property acquired during marriage.  In the event of a divorce, your brother's wife should not have any claim to your parents' house because your brother's co-part ownership is separate property.  The brother's wife would have a 1/2 interest in community property in the event of a divorce.


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