Does my husband have rights to my house?

My husband and I are separated, he left in March, I asked him to leave. Since he has threatened to take my house from me, I don’t know what he is entitled to. I bought the house before we got married, the home is 100% in my name, he did assist in the house hunting and has paid the mortgage. We have been married just over a year. He had requested that I buy him out of the house, or sell the house and give him half. Is he entitled to that?

He is likely not entitled to half of the value/equity depending on the length of time between the purchase of the home and the date of marriage.

The house likely has a dual classification of both separate property and marital property. It is separate property because you purchased it prior to the date of marriage, assuming the source of funds for the down payment did not come from your husband. A portion of it is also marital property because your husband presumably was employed during the marriage and contributed to the mortgage payments each month, thereby increasing the equity.

Your husband would likely be entitled to one-half of the principal reduction in the mortgage during the marriage. For example, if during the marriage (between date of marriage and date of separation) $5,000 was paid towards principal (not interest and escrow money), then the home would have a marital value of $5,000 and he would be entitled to $2,500.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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