If my husband is listed as co-owner on the deed to my house but does not live with me, do I need my his consent to construct an addition?

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If my husband is listed as co-owner on the deed to my house but does not live with me, do I need my his consent to construct an addition?

Do I need my his consent to construct a sunroom addition if I pay cash for it?

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you pay for it in cash, you will be better off and can do the construction without getting your husband involved.  Because you are in control of the property and your name is on the deed, you can make decisions regarding the use and improvement of the property.  You could encounter hiccups if you decide to finance... because his name is on the deed, he could technically be held liable by the bank if you defaulted on the home improvement note.  Your usual complaints come up when one spouse increases the other spouses potential debt liability.  There is not a remedy for filing against one spouse for making improvements.  As a side note, if you are no longer living together and are planning on getting a divorce, you may want to hold off all improvements until after the divorce is finalized.  If your improvements increase the value of the house, you could end up with a smaller share of the community estate because you are keeping the big ticket items.  Also, if you are awarded the house through the divorce, then a divorce decree will grant you final and absolute power on what to do with the house without these potential headaches in the future.


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