What are reasonable distributions of income and property when only1 spouse has consistently worked?

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What are reasonable distributions of income and property when only1 spouse has consistently worked?

My wife and I bought our home within one year of marriage with monies from my prior marriage. We agreed to live primarily off my income although she received child support for three dependent children from a previous marriage and we have one child together. The house is in my name only and she signed a quitclaim. All three of her children have reached the age of 18 so she is no longer receiving child support. If we divorced can I reasonably expect to keep the house even if I am willing to let her remain living in the home?

Asked on February 24, 2011 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If I were the attorney for your wife I would have the deed set aside and argue up and down that the house - or at least the increased value of the house minus the down payment - was community property for distribution in the marriage.  Just because you were the only one that worked consistently OUTSIDE the home during your marriage does not mean that her contribution to the marriage is in any way inferior to yours.  So, expect rather that there may be quite a fight when and if you get divorced unless you both agree to things before hand and with advice of counsel. Remember where you live and how the courts view the marriage. Good luck.


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