If I bought a home before I was married and the mortgage and deed are in my name only, what claim does my husband have on it?

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If I bought a home before I was married and the mortgage and deed are in my name only, what claim does my husband have on it?

Asked on March 18, 2012 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you live in a community property state, community property is property acquired during marriage.  This also applies to 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.  This also applies to income before marriage or after the marriage ends.  A spouse has no claim to the other spouse's separate property.

Since you purchased the house before marriage, it is your separate property and your husband has no claim to your separate property.

If you use income during marriage which is community property to make improvements to the house, your husband could claim half the value of those improvements made from community property funds.  If you use income during marriage to pay the mortgage, that income is community property and your husband could claim half the amount of those mortgage payments as a partial claim to the home since income during marriage is community property.

If you don't live in a community property state, other rules may be applicable.


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