Do I have to leave my house if I file for divorce? 25 Answers as of August 05, 2011

My husband and I built a house on some property he owned before we were married. My name is not on the deed to the property but is on the house. We have been married for 6 1/2 years, am I entitled to the house I built with him? Do I have to get out?

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Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
No you do not have to automatically leave. He will have to obtain a court order before you have to leave.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/5/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Excellent question and the answer is rather lengthy. The short sweet version is that you have made improvements and while he may own the property you have a reimbursement claim - a text book one at that. Since the residence is in dispute, you are not required to vacate until a Judge rules otherwise.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/22/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
You are neither "entitled" to the house nor have to move out. First of all, the issue of entitlement to the house or any value or equity in it would be part of a divorce process. You probably have an interest in the equity but so does your husband. How much each of you get will either be agreed upon or will have to be ordered by a court after a trial. As to moving out of the house, you can should you choose to but you are not required to unless a court orders you out.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/22/2011
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
No you do not have to leave, as you have just as much right to be there as he does. Most likely, the property will be considered partially a marital asset and partially not in any equitable distribution scheme. I would strongly suggest speaking with an experienced family law attorney in your area to assist you with this and any other issues that might arise in a dissolution matter.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/22/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
Ultimately it will come down to a court decision or what you both agree upon. If there are kids, the primary custodian of the children usually gets the home until the kids are grown.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/21/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You don't provide enough information to fully determine the proper characterization of the house. It is normally not possible for you to be on a deed to the house but not on the real estate because it is now only a parcel of real estate with improvements. If you mean that you are joint on the mortgage/loan, that is not the same thing as owning the property; but it would be unusual for a lender to include you in the loan without requiring you to be a deeded owner. You will need to consult an attorney to sort out the exact legal status of the property. However, the deeded title is not totally controlling of what will/should happen in divorce. Property that is owned before marriage remains "separate" property unless there is some evidence of an intent to gift it to the marital estate (such as adding you to the title) and a court generally can't give separate property to the other spouse. However, any appreciation in value (which certainly results from building a house on it) is considered marital property and a court could require him to buy you out for your share of the value. If you and your husband cannot agree on how to deal with the house, a judge will have to evaluate the overall facts to decide how to resolve the differences.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you retain a divorce lawyer in your area. You should discuss with your divorce attorney all your rights and options, including the idea of seeking an equitable division as to your interests in the home.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Matters of who owns what will be sorted out by the court at trial, but are different from issues of temporary or preliminary orders for temporary exclusive possession. You should consult on all matters with qualified counsel before making any decisions.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    You do not have to leave until and unless a Court orders you too.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You don't have to move out. If your name is not on the property, I am curious why you think your name is on the house. Under the circumstances that you relate, you would likely have a community interest in the house, but it would not be a 50% interest in thehouse. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your divorce, and you may need to retain a forensic account regarding your percentage of co-ownership in the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    The short answer is that you have a claim to any marital asset, and the title is not the only way to determine if an asset is part of your marital estate. I do not have enough info to estimate what % of the house you may obtain, but until there is a decree for Divorce and Equitable Distribution or a PFA or some other order evicting you for trespass, you need not leave yet.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    You may be. The details would have to be reviewed further. Property owned prior to marriage is not exempted from divorce/property division unless there is good reason to do so, such as inheritance that can be clearly shown, or other reasons. You do not have to leave until further decisions or agreements are made, or ordered by the court.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    My OPINION is: you will have a solid claim to half the house value. I base this on the intermingling of marital and premarital assets in the form of the property and land. But you will need an attorney to press your claim. Please see a domestic relations attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    From the brief facts in your question, it sounds like you have a community interest in the property because you built a house on it. And no, you do not need to move out when one party files for divorce. If you can't jointly agree on who should remain in the property, then one party will have to file a motion with the court requesting exclusive use orders. Call a local family law lawyer to discuss these, and the other issues, involved with a divorce. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    The house is marital property and is subject to equitable division in a divorce. You do not have to leave unless and until a judge orders otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    Your question is unclear because you say your name is "on the house". What does that mean. This will be a sticky situation since you built the house prior to marriage and you say your name is not on title. However, there are many ways that your lawyer can argue that you are entitled to an ownership interest in the house. You should do nothing until you meet with an experienced family law lawyer who can help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    The mere starting of a divorce case does not force either party to move out of the family home. The court will probably eventually order one of you out of the house, on at least a temporary basis. Whether you get any of the value of the house in a divorce trial will typically depend on a large number of factors. Some of those factors are: the ages of the parties, the health of the parties, the work history of the parties, the education of the parties, the amount of community property and debts, the amount of your separate property and debts, and the amount of his separate property and debts. In taking these factors, and others, into consideration, the court's job is to make what the court believes is a fair and equitable division of the property.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law neither party has to leave the house just because a divorce has been filed. It is up to the two of you to agree, or the court to decide, whether one party should move out and ultimately how the property is to be awarded in the divorce. I have never heard of there being separate deeds for the property and the house, so I am not sure how your name is on one without being on the other. To the extent that the house was built during the marriage, that would appear to create some community property rights in the property, but as indicated above, it is up to the two of you or the court to decide whether the house and property will be awarded to one of you or sold so the proceeds can be distributed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You have a right to continue to live in the house not only beacuse you are an existing occupant but from the standpoint that there most likely will be a community property interest in this asset. Keep in mind, possession of property is not 9/10th of the law. If it would be emotionally or physically safer not to continue to live in the residence, you should consider moving. Sorting out the ownership interests of the property and house will not be impacted by your departure if the relationship has ended and you want to leave.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    If your name is on the deed, who gets the house is something that will have to be decided by the divorce court. (It is impossible to be on the house and not the land, so you may want to repost what you actually are on).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    you have an equitable claim to the house and you do not have to leave if you file for divorce
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    Absent a court order, you do not need to leave the house to petition for a divorce. It appears the home may have both separate property and community property components.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    No. But either of you can seek an order making the other leave. At the end ofyour divorce, one person will own the property and the other will have to leave.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/21/2011
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