Does my spouse have any rights to mineral rights that are solely in my name?

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Does my spouse have any rights to mineral rights that are solely in my name?

I want to sell my mineral rights but my spouse is saying I can’t. They are solely in my name. Can he stop the sale?

Asked on December 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you live in a community property state such as CA, community property is property acquired 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.  Your spouse has no claim to your separate property.

There are some exceptions which may be applicable regarding the above definition of community property.  If the mineral rights were your inheritance, they are your separate property regardless of whether you inherited the mineral rights before or during marriage. As separate property, your spouse would have no claim to the mineral rights.  If the mineral rights were a gift, they are also your separate property and your spouse has no claim.  If you used income prior to marriage to purchase the mineral rights during marriage, the mineral rights are your separate property because they were purchased with money earned prior to marriage.  The character of the source determines the character of the property in deciding whether an item is separate property or community property.

If the mineral rights were purchased with income earned during marriage, the mineral rights are community property because income during marriage is community property.  Your spouse would then have a one half interest in the mineral rights as community property.

If the deed by which you purchased the mineral rights identifies you as a single woman, this would provide an additional argument that the mineral rights are your separate property, were acquired before marriage and your spouse has no claim. 

 


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