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Bought house prior to marriage, no joint accounts. wife never contributed to mortgage/maintain. is the house community property?

Redmond, WA |

in a divorce settlement process, is requesting her share of cost during the marriage reasonable? if she never contributed to any of the house related cost, is the house considered as separate property? live in WA.

our income were about equal/same during the marriage, can i get reimbursement for her share of the mortgage/utility cost during marriage?

Attorney Answers 2


Home will probably be viewed as separate property. Court has the power to give divide separate property. Requesting her share of costs will not be effective. Go consult with a divorce attorney about your case. Learn about your fact situation.

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Community and Separate Property acquire their distinction when they a initially sought to be obtained. If you bought a house and later married and have done nothing to change the status of the house (filed a Quit Claim Deed converting the property; refinanced and made the property community) then it is your separate property. However, that is not the be all and end all for discussion.

All property is before the court. The court can determine that the marital community is entitled to recompense for money spent on your separate property. A lot is determined by how long you have been married and have had the house. In some instances, for example, you may have bought the house 4 months before marriage and lived in it for 15 years before seeking a divorce and the court then is likely to give more credence to her claim for a share of the home than if you owned it for 15 years, got married and 4 months later were seeking a dissolution.

Forget your argument that "she never contributed to any of the house related costs" because you likely made the house payments, taxes, insurance and any repairs and the like from community funds. She is an undivided owner of those funds whether or not she worked outside the home-that is what community property is, after all.

Clearly, you should be asking this question of your divorce attorney who has more experience and knowledge than you do and that is one of the reasons you hired him/her,

Larry Couture

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