When is a house a community property? 13 Answers as of December 02, 2013

Is a house a community property if one spouse owned it prior to the marriage and never made it a joint asset?

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The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C. | Jessica M. Cotter
More information is needed, and you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss this. From what you say the entire value of the house is not community property, however, there may be a community lien for improvements or payments made on the property using community property funds. Again, see an attorney to discuss this.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 12/2/2013
Woods, May & Matlock, PC
Woods, May & Matlock, PC | Robert J. Matlock
Any asset owned prior to the marriage is separate property.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/27/2013
Law Office of Robert E McCall | Robert McCall
That is usually not a family asset, but if the value increased during the marriage the increase in value may be divided.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/27/2013
Zarbano Law Office | Margaret Zarbano
Nebraska does not describe "community property". The court has three steps regarding property 1. identify, 2. value, 3. divide.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 11/27/2013
David A. Browde, P.C.
David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
New York is not a community property state. The law here is equitable distribution. Under equitable distribution an asset owned before the marriage remains separate property under most circumstances but not all.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/27/2013
    Glenn Milgraum PC
    Glenn Milgraum PC | Glenn P. Milgraum
    In most states, if not brought into the marriage, the property will be considered separate. However, if the non-owning spouse contributed to the property by way of an equitable share of the marital monies being used to pay for mortgage, taxes, and/or upkeep, then the non-owning spouse may be entitled to a return of the contributing monies that can be shown to have come from the marital pool of funds.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    If the property was owned before marriage and only separate property funds were used to improve and maintain it then it remains the separate property of the spouse you bought it prior to marriage. However, if community funds or income was used to improve the property or pay the mortgage then the property is now mixed, community and separate property. You should consult a family law attorney to review all of the facts and determine the correct character of the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar | Mandy J. McKellar
    In Nevada there can be a community interest in a home owned prior to marriage. In the event that community labor went into the home then arguments can be made that a percentage of the home equity can be attributed to the community.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Maybe. It depends on whether it was used as the marital home, was community property used to pay the mortgage and maintenance and how long did the people live there as husband and wife. If only 6 months, probably not. 20 years, probably yes.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    If your spouse owned the house prior to marriage it is his separate property. You are entitled to one-half of payments applied to principal on the house. Talk to a family law attorney who is familiar with a line of cases known as Moore-Marsden to protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    T.D. Stevens & Associates PLLC
    T.D. Stevens & Associates PLLC | TD Stevens
    Any property owned prior to marriage is considered separate property.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Provda Law Firm
    Provda Law Firm | Bruce Provda
    It depends on the time you both lived in the house and if the non-owner spouse contributed to the mortgage, renovation or upkeep of the asset.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Catchick Law, PC
    Catchick Law, PC | Matt Catchick
    It depends on how the house was treated and paid for during the marriage. For example, if the husband and wife lived in the house together and treated it as the "marital home," then it would be considered part of the marital estate. However, if the house was used as a rental property, and it was purchased in full before the marriage, and marital funds were not used to pay for the rental house's upkeep, then it would probably be considered a separate asset.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/27/2013
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