If I paid offmy home before we got married, can she take the house?

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If I paid offmy home before we got married, can she take the house?

We were married for 10 years and have a 9 year old daughter. I did build a room onto the house after we were married which cost $13,000. We are getting ready to have a hearing. How long will it take to get her removed from the house? I was put out with a protective order bout a month ago.

Asked on February 5, 2012 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you live in a community property state such as CA, community property is property acquired during marriage.  This 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.  This also includes income before marriage or after the marriage ends.  A spouse has no claim to the other spouse's separate property. 

Since you paid for the house before marriage, the house is your separate property and your spouse has no claim to the house, except for the added value represented by the additional room which occurred during marriage.  Since that improvement occurred during marriage, the value of that improvement would be community property and your spouse would have a claim for half the value of that improvement.  If the value of the house improved by $13,000,  she would have a claim for $6500.  If you don't live in a community property state, other rules may be applicable.

As for how long it takes to have her removed from the house, you said that there is a hearing.  Whatever timeframe the judge sets for her removal from the home would determine that.


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