If my house is in my name only, can a judgement against my husband be settled by the sale of my house during a divorce?

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If my house is in my name only, can a judgement against my husband be settled by the sale of my house during a divorce?

When my husband and I got married, he had bad credit (judgements against him), so when we bought our home it was put in my name only. After 6 years of marriage we are getting divorced. My husband has said he will “give” me the house; he wants no part of it. I’ve been told that just because he was/is my husband, the sale of my house will automatically go towards his judgement. I don’t understand this when he is not claiming ownership and his name is on nothing. I’m being told to not sell my house until the divorce is final. The divorce is taking a long time and I have offers on my house now.

Asked on November 19, 2010 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This question has many levels and facets to answer.  Yes, although it is true that the house is titled and deeded in your name, it is still a marital asset.  And any creditor that is seeking to obtain judgements as against your husband is going to try and say that he is "giving" you the house to avoid his creditors and that they are really entitled to satisfaction upon sale.  Yes, it sounds weird because the judgement has only his name and not yours and if flies in the face of generally recognized and basic theory that you can not attache an asset of another in satisfaction of a judgement. But I can see the argument being made and being given credence.  I might wait as well.  Take advice from an attorney in your area.  Good luck.


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