If I am married but my name is not on the deed, do I own the house with my husband?

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If I am married but my name is not on the deed, do I own the house with my husband?

My husband purchased a house prior to our marriage and he is refusing to put me on the deed.

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 9 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 the house was purchased before marriage, it is your husband's separate property and you would not have a claim to his separate property.  If income during marriage is used to pay the mortgage on the house, that income is community property and you would have a one half interest in the amount of those mortgage payments which are community property.  If improvements are made to the house during marriage from community property funds (income during marriage), you would have a claim as to one half the value of those improvements paid with community property funds.

If the mortgage payments on the house are paid with your husband's separate property income (income before marriage), then you would not have a community property claim on those mortgage payments.  The same would apply to  improvements made to the houee with your husband's separate property funds (income before marriage).

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


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