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When is a home considered separate property?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2021 | Divorce |

Divorcing your spouse means you will have to split up property that you and your spouse jointly own. Common examples include vehicles, retirement accounts and real estate. Still, there are some instances where a spouse who wants to hold on to a home can actually do so. It may depend on who owns the property.

If your home is marital property, your spouse has a say in what happens to it. Your spouse may want the home sold so your spouse can walk away with his or her monetary share of the property. But it could be a different story if your spouse does not have any ownership of the home.

A home that you own

Many married couples buy a home and pay a mortgage on it. But in your case, you might have bought your home before you got married. Some spouses go ahead and add their wife or husband’s name to the title. But if you never did this, the home has remained in your name alone throughout your marriage. According to the American Bar Association, a court might deem your home to be separate property in this case.

Commingling assets with your home

Proving your home is separate property may not be so simple. Even if your spouse is not an owner, you probably have invested marital money into keeping up the home. Over the course of your marriage, you may have used marital funds to do some major repairs after a storm, or you had conducted some major renovations like remodeling a bathroom or adding on a bedroom.

Commingling marital assets with your home will likely make your home marital property. If you have financial records of your home repairs, you might establish that you never used marital funds to fix your house. Even if you had used marital money on your home, you might still establish your spouse’s entitled value and offer to buy out your spouse’s interest in the property.