Q: I bought my house five years before i got married. my wife sign a quit claim. is that enough for me to keep property?
I have been married seven years and two years ago she sign a quit claim on the property.
A: That's a good start, but you should have an attorney draft a written agreement for you and your wife to sign. This way you will make it clear that both of you intend that the home remains entirely your separate property. Characterization of property becomes complicated without an agreement as community property income is used to pay the mortgage, make repairs, and perhaps pay for upgrades.
A: Under the California community property general resumption, property acquired during marriage is community property. Because you had the property before marriage, it was your separate property. However, if the mortgagee payments were out of community funds, the community has earned interest in the home during marriage. Courts have special formulas to split such property interest at divorce or death. A quit claim may be construed a gift. She can gift it to you, as she did here. It may be best if you handle this through transmutation; a written agreement during marriage changing the character of a property. Consult a family lawyer.
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