In a divorce, is a house that was acquired before the marriage but both have paid payments on, considered separate property or marital property?

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In a divorce, is a house that was acquired before the marriage but both have paid payments on, considered separate property or marital property?

My husband and I are separated and now getting a divorce. Our house was purchased by him with his father cosigning before we were married. We have both made payments on the house which is now paid off and is in his name. Is this considered marital property and can be divided or is this considered separate property?

Asked on August 8, 2010 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Georgia is an "equitable distribution" state, meaning that marital assets are divided "equitably" and not "equally."  The question here will be how the court views the house: as marital property or separate property.  Generally property acquired prior to marriage is considered separate property.  How the title is held is not necessarily dispositive of the matter.  Each case turns on its own facts.  There have been cases where what started out as separate property was considered marital property for distribution.  This may be one of those cases.  The length of the marriage and the payments will be taken in to consideration.  Sometimes the courts consider the increased value of the asset over the time of the marriage and contribution as a marital asset rather than the entire asset.  You should speak with an attorney in your area on the matter.  Good luck.


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