Does a wife have marital property if she is not on the title of the home? 1 Answers as of April 27, 2011

My mom married a US citizen, and shortly after they purchased a home. Her name was not included on the mortgage because at the time she had not received her residency status as yet, so the attorney at that time, told her that her name couldn't be included in the mortgage. They were living together for a number of years prior to marriage as well. They are both employed and have a joint bank account & both their names are listed on the car notes. Long story short, a divorce is brewing & he seems very sure that she has no rights to the home & is insisting that she must vacate the premises. Is he correct, is it true that she isn't entitled to half of their marital property. What rights does she have?

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Hello, There are certain facts that are important in your case that have not been included. First, even though her name is not on the mortgage, it might still be on the deed. However, based upon the husband's assuredness, it's not likely. However, even if her name is not on the deed, if the mortgage was paid for with money that was earned during the term of the marriage by the Husband and even more so if the Wife contributed any money towards paying off the mortgage and/or other items during the marriage, then she does have a good basis to ask for a portion of the overall value of the house. As for vacating the house, that's another issue entirely and she will not normally have to leave unless and until there is a divorce - or if there is any violence or threatened violence by her against the husband. Whoever threatens or does violence, will generally told to leave the house. Have your mother consult immediately with a divorce attorney. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/27/2011
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