My House is in My Spouse’s Name Only. What Does That Mean For Me?

My House is in My Spouse’s Name Only. What Does That Mean For Me?

  • slide-1-pollackIf the house was purchased during the marriage, the fact the title is legally in the name of one spouse as opposed to both spouses generally has no significance.
  • If the title is in the other spouse’s name because they purchased it before the marriage, this may become an issue with regard to a separate property claim by the spouse.
  • They might claim more of the value of that house because they bought it before the marriage and therefore it’s “theirs” as opposed to “ours.”

My house is in my spouse’s name only. What does that mean for me?

New York has two different categories for property, which are marital property and separate property. Marital property is any asset brought into the marriage, regardless of which spouse’s name that particular property is under. Separate property is any asset the spouse owned before the marriage, not agreed to become marital property at the beginning of the marriage.

If the house was purchased during the marriage, the fact the title is legally in the name of one spouse, as opposed to both spouses, generally has no significance. New York doesn’t recognize title as being determinative in the distribution of assets. However, if the title is in the other spouse’s name because it was purchased before the marriage, that may become an issue with regard to a separate property claim. Your spouse can claim more of the value of that house because they bought it before the marriage and therefore it’s theirs as opposed to ours.

Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.

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