hat legal steps should I take to ensure that I would either get equity or the house in case of divorce/death of my spouse?

UPDATED: Aug 16, 2012

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hat legal steps should I take to ensure that I would either get equity or the house in case of divorce/death of my spouse?

My husband purchased our house in his name only 3 years ago. We started co-habitating in the house at that time and married the following year. Even though the mortgage is in his name only, I have been paying half the payments since I moved in. I’ve also contributed financially to home improvements. In case of divorce, would I be entitled to any equity acquired in the house? Or, if he passed away, would I be entitled to the house as his spouse, even though my name isn’t on the deed?

Asked on August 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Please see a lawyer in your area as soon as you can.  The property is at the ouset considered to be seperate property under the scenario you have given although there could be an argument that you have made improvements and the equity is marital proeprty or that there is an intent for it to be marital property.  But why take the chance.  It would cost more in legal fees in the divorce to iron that out then.  As for in death, it would be consdiered part of his estate and it could come to you via Will or a portion under intestacy.  Good luck.

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