If my wife moved out of the house yesterday whileI was at work, what are my rights regarding the house?

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If my wife moved out of the house yesterday whileI was at work, what are my rights regarding the house?

The house and everything is in my name; it was in my name before we got married.

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

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

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

Since you owned the house before marriage, it is your separate property and your spouse has no claim.  However, if you made mortgage payments during marriage from income earned during marriage, that portion of the house paid for during marriage with income earned during marriage would be community property and your spouse would have a one half interest in the value of the house represented by those mortgage payments.  If you paid the mortgage from separate property income,(income before marriage) your spouse has no claim.

If improvements were made to the house during marriage from community property funds, then your spouse would have a one half interest in the enhanced value of the house represented by the improvements paid for with community property funds.

If you received an inheritance, it is your separate property whether you received it before or during marriage. 

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


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