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He owns the house and I have been living with him for 5 years and married 2, is the house considered marital property?

Hardwick, MA |

I would like to know that if my husband and i should divorce, would I have to move out or would he? I have helped him maintain the household since we have been together. we have a new car that we both just bought and I couldnt afford to pay all of the bills we have just on my income alone, about 5 months ago I went to part time for reasons that we both agreed on and he has become the main source of income for our family, what are my rights if I have any at all? I am worried about being left with nothing once we divorce.


Attorney Answers 3

  1. Unless there was a pre marital agreement, the house would certainly be considered a marital asset. Regardless of whose name is one the home, it would still be a marital asset. The determination of who would move out or stay in the home would ultimately be determined by a judge based on all of the circumstances, one of which might be who would ultimately end up living in the home permanently. The determination of who would need to leave the home could take many months. In mediation, the two of you could determine, amicably, what would make most sense. If you had a jointly agreed to reduce your income, that would certainly be an issue in determining the amount and length of time of alimony. You would certainly not be left with "nothing" in a divorce.

    This answer is not intended to provide legal advice or to create an attorney client relationship. Tracy Fischer is a certified divorce mediator and attorney with offices in Newton and Danvers MA.

  2. Based on this question and your previous question I would urge you to confer with a domestic relations attorney who can ferret out an objective perspective of your specific situation. Most attorneys will be happy to speak to without charge, at leased initalially. You are leaving out substantial and important portions of your story and because of it you are getting very general answers that may or may not apply to you.

    The fact that you have children will have a big impact on what occurs in your divorce, yet you didn’t mention it before. The house remaining in your husband’s name will be a point of continuing contention. Any other assets that you may have and have not mentioned can also have a huge impact of what happens to the house and who will live there. What type of employment you gave up and your potential earning compared to the earnings of your husband and the conduct of the parties can skew a judge’s perspective.

    It is obvious that you are looking for simple straight forward answers, perhaps to relieve the stress of ambivalence, but you need real answers geared to your future. This is not the form for you.

    This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should speak to an attorney for further information.

  3. Hello,

    The house was owned by your husband before the marriage and you were only married for 2 years. Therefore, it would likely not be part of the property division in a divorce. The court have a lot of leeway in dividing property however. Sometimes an arrangement can be negotiated involving less child support or alimony in return for a highter percentage of the property division.
    The fact you helped "maintain" the house does not help much in a property division.

    Legal disclaimer: The above answer is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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