How do I protect property purchased during marriage in a subsequent divorce?

UPDATED: Dec 13, 2011

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How do I protect property purchased during marriage in a subsequent divorce?

I got married 6 months ago without any pre-nuptial agreement. I am about to purchase a house and will be paying for all of the down payment and mortgage payments myself. How do I protect my investment if the unfortunate happens and we get divorced a few years later? Is a transmutation agreement the answer? I live in a community property state.

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Family Law, California


Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are a number of things you can do. First and foremost, unless you paid the down payment and subsequent mortgage payments with your own separate property money, this house is community property and your spouse is entitled to half of it should a divorce take place. There are some options to give the house to you as your separate property but unfortunately none of them will work without consent from your spouse. Transmutation is one way to do it, by a written declaration. It must be signed by your spouse. You can change the tilte to yourself as a single man and such is an equivalent of a transmutation. You can also do a postnup. Again, none of these would work without consent from your spouse.

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