Am i entitled to half the house?

Asked over 4 years ago - Michigan

I am filing for divorce after 20 years of marriage, the house was bought when we got engaged and we lived together in it and then got married he never put my name on the deed, cause the bank said not to add my name till we were married and then when we were married they wanted to charge a fee, which he did not want to pay, i was a stay at home wife and mom for most of those years. Am i entitled to half the value of the house?

Additional information

There is no mortgage on the house it is paid in full. My husband will not sell the house and we have 2 teenage children that wish to stay in the house, to finish out school. I will be relocating out of state for my job. And if I'm entitled to half the house value, how is the best way to get my husband to pay it?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Jared Clayton Austin

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Michigan, like most states, is not a community property state. Only in community property states does each spouse automatically get a vested 1/2 interest in marital property by virtue of the marriage. Michigan is an equitable distribution state. And while equitable means fair, it doesn't necessarily mean half. This can get tricky. I can even see your husband (or his attorney if he has one) making the argument that the home isn't even marital property since it was acquired before the marriage. But generally, the court tries to make sure that whoever has physical custody of the children will get the house. The other spouse may be entited to be compensated for a certain value of the house which in your case would almost assuredly have to be done through cash payments since there is no mortgage to be bargained with. Theoretically it could be sold and the proceeds divided. Honestly, it will all depend on a lot of facotrs and what kind of agreement you and your husband can come up. If you can't decide, it will have to go to trial and the judge will decide.

    But I would recommend hiring a lawyer if you haven't already because this can get far too complicated and overwhelming to do on your own. Especially if your husband has a lawyer. You want to make sure that you are being treated fairly and not getting cheated out of anything that is rightfully your's.

    If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to give me a call at (517) 614-1983 or email me through my website. Best of everything.

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