I owned a home several years before marrying. We were married less than 3 years, and the majority of this time I was unable to work. I had exhausted state disability and am still waiting for a hearing on my disability appeal through Social Security.
My ex is threatening to go after a portion of the home as part of a community property settlement, saying that her income was the only reason that I was able to keep the home during our marriage, and that as a result she "owns" part of it.
Is this going to stand up? I don't want sympathy for my situation -- I want solid legal advice or direction on how I might defend against this, and what precedent SHE might be using to make this claim.
California is a community property state. Unless the two of you entered into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, all earnings during your marriage belong to both of you 50/50, and when invested into real property, those earnings are transmute the real property into community property on a pro rated basis. You will need an accountant to determine what percent of the equity in the home is community property vs your separate property from before the marriage, and if your spouse wants her share you must buy her out if you can afford it, or sell the house so she can receive her share.
The house remains your separate property but she has a community interest if there was a mortgage and either of you paid it during marriage.
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