If the house is in my name only, would it still have to be divided in a divorce?

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If the house is in my name only, would it still have to be divided in a divorce?

The house is in my name only and was purchased based solely on my financial information. Would I get it in a divorce settlement or would it still have to be divided?

Asked on July 12, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There  is no single, simple answer. If the house was something you purchased prior to marriage, it is very likely that as a premarital asset, it would not be something your spouse would have any claim against. However, if purchased during marriage, it *may* be an asset he or she has a claim to, even if was based solely on your financial information. It depends  on the circumstances--two spouses each earning either compararable, or at least high, salaries may be able to buy assets based on their own income, etc. without the other having a claim to it--if they can establish that they kept their finances separate; but if the reason this house was bought based solely on your finances is that you were the sole or primary breadwinner, then a court would likely find that the house is a marital asset--you spouse "earned" it or has a claim to it by keeping house, supporting your career, taking care of children (if any), etc., and also had, as the non-earning spouse, a reasonable expectation that your income, and the proceeds or fruits of it, would support the both of you. So it depends very much on the circumstances. You should consult with a divorce attorney to evaluate the specifics of your situation.


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