If my name is onthe deed but not the mortgage, can I get half in a divorce?

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If my name is onthe deed but not the mortgage, can I get half in a divorce?

My friend is divorcing and his wife has the mortgage to their house in her name but my friend’s name is on the deed. She always paid the bills because she made more money and sometimes my friend would give her cash to help out. In the divorce can he go after the house or will a judge see he never paid and give it to her? He doesn’t have any money in it but because he is one the deed can he get half? His name is also not on any of the bills for the house.

Asked on August 16, 2011 Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here is the general rule: property purchased during the marriage or with the intent for it to be marital property is subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.  Equitable does not mean equal.  Instead the court looks at the total picture as to what went on during the marriage including the contributions of both spouses, the liabilities as well as all the assets,  to see how to best divide the interests of the parties.  The house technically is considered your friend's as well as his wife's.  That will be taken in to account in the divorce. How it will turn out in the end can only be determined by the judge.


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