If I’m headed for divorce and owned my home before my marriage, will it be considered to be marital property in a divorce?

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If I’m headed for divorce and owned my home before my marriage, will it be considered to be marital property in a divorce?

I’m worried that the home I owned before the marriage will be added as marital property to be divided. I am the only one on the title and the small remaining mortgage instrument. Can I deed the house to my daughter in order to avoid it being considered as marital property?

Asked on August 22, 2019 under Family Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If you owned it prior to marriage and your wife is not on the titile has not helped pay for it, she will have no interest in the home. If she's not on the title but has contributed to paying the mortgage, while that will not give her ownership of the home if bought pre-marriage, a court would likely take her contributions into account while dividing or splitting other assets (i.e. compensate her for helping to pay for the home the family lived in). 
Note that deeding the home to your daughter would not change anything about the situation: the law does not allow you to hide assets from creditors or from a spouse by putting another person's (e.g. a child's) name on the title. The law will not allow you to defraud a creditor or spouse in that way.


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