Will I be court ordered to sign papers to sell our home if my husband bought the house with his cash 2 months before we were married?

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Will I be court ordered to sign papers to sell our home if my husband bought the house with his cash 2 months before we were married?

Asked on October 12, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Community property is property acquired during marriage.  Community property also includes income during marriage.  Each spouse has a one half interest in the community property.

Separate property is property acquired before marriage or after the marriage ends.  Separate property also includes income before marriage or after the marriage ends.  A spouse has no claim to the other spouse's separate property.

If your husband purchased the house before marriage, it is his separate property and you would not have a claim to the house. 

If your husband was paying the mortgage during marriage with income earned during marriage, that income is community property and you would have a claim regarding half the amount paid from community property income on the mortgage payments made during marriage.  If your husband paid the mortgage during marriage with income earned prior to marriage, that income is his separate property and you would not have a claim to that income used to pay the mortgage.

If improvements were made to the house during marriage from income during marriage, the value of those improvements is community property and you would have a one half interest in the enhanced value of the home from those improvements.

It is not possible to predict how a court will rule in a particular case, but the court's ruling will be based on whether the house is separate property or community property in determining the claims of you and your husband.


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