If I bought a house one year before I got married with insurance money my mom left me, would my husband get my house if we divorce?

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If I bought a house one year before I got married with insurance money my mom left me, would my husband get my house if we divorce?

I bought the house with life insurance money my mom left me. It was a foreclosed home and all the appliances and material to fix the house was paid with my insurance money. When we got married I didn’t change the name of the tittle of the house and did not add him in it. He is now trying to take the house from me. Can he do that?

Asked on June 4, 2012 under Family Law, Missouri

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 you purchased the house before marriage, it is your separate property, and your husband has no claim to the house.  If improvements were made to the house during marriage and the improvements were made from community property funds (income during marriage), your husband would have a claim for one half the value of the improvements because the improvements were paid with community property funds.  If improvements to the house were paid from your separate property income (the insurance settlement or other income before marriage), the improvements are separate property and your husband has no claim to the enhanced value of the house resulting from those improvements.

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


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