What rights does a soon to be ex-wife have if husband and girlfriend buy a house together?

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What rights does a soon to be ex-wife have if husband and girlfriend buy a house together?

My daughter and boyfriend are looking to purchase a house together. However, he is not divorced and is separated. Separation in PA is not recognized. They been apart over a year. They have not property together, including they both have separate bank accounts since separating. Will his soon to be ex have any rights to my daughter and his house if the divorce is not through yet? Would it be better to have the house in her name only, or first on the deed? All down money is coming from my daughter to purchase this house.

Asked on February 13, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I need to caution your daughter about this transaction for many reasons.  If she insists on going through with it with the intention that it be both hers and the boyfriends then I STRONGLY suggest that she seek legal help with preparing an agreement as to rights and liabilities. If she is putting down the entire down payment that has to be acknowledged. How they are holding the house needs to be established.  If he dies with his name one the deed and not divorced then his wife gets to be co-owner in your daughter's house.  Now, if he has not filed for divorce anything in his name purchased during the marriage is subject to being included as a marital asset.  So yes, there is a possibility that his wife can attach the property.  Although her boyfriend can most likely prove the issue of separate property who needs that legal fight should things get vicious.  Listen, everyone in love thinks that their relationship will be the same today as in 20 years from now.  The reality is that it can sour at any moment.  Her boyfreind is a living example of that.  Good luck.


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