Am I entitled to the house after a four year marriage? 8 Answers as of February 03, 2012

If I bought a house in 1998 when I was single then married in 2002 and my wife wants a divorce now. Am I entitled to keep it because it was a premarital asset?

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Assuming that you didn't change title to your house, it is your separate property, but if you paid down the? mortgage or improved the house during the marriage with community property (i.e., your or your wife's earnings during the marriage), there would be a pro tanto community interest in your house, of which you you would owe your wife 1/2. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your divorce.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/3/2012
Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
Only if it was paid in full before you married.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/3/2012
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
The house may now have both a community and separate interest. As just one example, if you paid down the principle balance of the mortgage with community money, such as your earnings after marriage, then the community has likely acquired an interest. If so, you can pay your spouse whatever community share she's entitled to, and then have her sign a quit claim deed to release all interest in the home.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/3/2012
Law Offices of Laurie Peters
Law Offices of Laurie Peters | Laurie Peters
It's a little more complicated than that. She may be entitled to a prorate share of the house if you continued to pay down the principle while you were married.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/3/2012
Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation
Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation | Elizabeth Jones
Yes. But there may be a community interest in the house that you may reimburse to he for use of community finds to pay the mortgage.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/3/2012
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    The house would be considered your separate property if it was purchased by you prior to marriage, however, there may be a community/marital interest in it if the mortgage was paid with community property funds during marriage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/3/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Yes, you are entitled to keep the house because you bought it prior to marriage. However, this does not mean you do not owe her money from the house. If there was a mortgage on the property, and you paid down the mortgage with community funds (wages earned after marriage) then the community might be owed a reimbursement. This is a complex concept and you might need legal assistance to figure out what you owe her. This is known as the Moore-Marsden Reimbursement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/3/2012
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    The house would most likely me considered your separate property, and she would not have an interest in it. However, if community funds would used on the house during the marriage, then she may have a right to have those funds reimbursed to the community.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/3/2012
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