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“Do I Have a Claim to the House If I’m Not On the Loan?”

Goldberg Jones Divorce, Divorce Process, Goldberg Jones Radio Leave a Comment

Buying a house is a big deal. For most people, it’s the most significant purchase of our lives. This also makes it one of the biggest assets on the table during a divorce. Because it’s so major, home untangling who is entitled to what during the division of property often becomes complicated. Especially when it involves home loans, equity, and more.

You have many questions to ask when it comes to splitting up a house in a divorce. Where did the down payment come from? Who paid the mortgage? Where did the money for those installments originate? What if your name doesn’t appear on the home loan?

Rick Jones, one of our founding partners, regularly appears on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show, where he takes family law questions. On a recent episode, a caller had this very situation.

He’s not on the home loan but contributed to the purchase in various ways. This is one of the rare situations where we get to give good news.

Related Reading: We Got Divorced, Why Am I Still On the Hook for the Home Loan?

Listen to the Call Below:

Caller: “I was with a girl for over ten years. We’re still legally married. We bought a house and she put it in her name because of my credit rating. Now there’s equity in the house but we’re separated. Do I have a claim to half the equity of the house?”

Rick: “Hey, I finally get to give some good news. I always feel like such a downer. The good news is this: The fact that you were married and you purchased this home while married, it doesn’t matter that your name isn’t on the loan.

“The question comes down to, was there a significant down payment? And if so, did that come from community property or separate property? 

“So, if I assume it was from community property, then we go forward and say, how was that mortgage paid? Again, I assume it was community property, which is any earnings the two of you are having.

“So, even though you have to clear that first hurdle of demonstrating the presumption that just because it was in her name doesn’t mean it wasn’t community property.

At that point, I do think you’re going to end up entitled to whatever half the equity is.

Related Reading: A House Divided: Divorce When You Work From Home

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