Valdez, AK asked in Divorce, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Domestic Violence for Alaska

Q: married 6 mts.,both names are on morgage but I make all payments/upkeep,who will get house,got house together

before we were married,hes only on paperwork because of my credit,I make more money,does he have right to 401k/retirement.

1 Lawyer Answer
Stefan Otterson
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  • Domestic Violence Lawyer
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Licensed in Alaska

A: Normally retirement savings, any other savings, and any other assets (just the equity) accumulated during the marriage are considered marital assets and the court is supposed to divide them up fairly. Six months is a very short marriage, so the court may simply try to return you both to the situation you were in before you got married. To the extent you kept your finances separate, you may be able to preserve that. However, if you bought a house together and you're both on title and mortgage, then a decision has to be made. You should certainly try to work it out between you. Do you both want the house? Can you both afford it on your own? That may be more a practical question than a legal one. Assuming you keep the house, you'll need to refinance to get his name off the loan and title. You might need reimburse him for some form of contribution to the house (down payment, repairs, etc.) Also, he might claim some of the equity if, while you were paying the mortgage, he was paying other joint expenses. However, in such a short period of time, not that much savings and equity can have accumulated. It probably won't be worth it for either of you to fight about it. A good mediator should be able to walk you through the negotiation needed to disentangle yourselves, and he/she might also be able to assist you in preparing dissolution paperwork.

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