Q: I am filing Chapter 7 in CA. My wife has a house since before marriage and we have a prenup. Do I need to disclose?
Married for 3 years and we do not live in that house, I rent.
A: I agree with my colleague - full disclosure is important. I urge you to retain a bankruptcy attorney to assist you in the language to use.
A: Interview 2 or 3 experienced bankruptcy attorneys and hire 1 of them to represent you. That attorney should be made aware of the real property and the prenuptial agreement. In some situations, the bankruptcy attorney will consult with an experienced family law attorney to review that agreement.
It is likely that you have no ownership of that property, ut that isn't always true. If you provided for the house, but not your marital income, it's possible the community has a share in that separate property . You don't want to guess and you need to have experts on your side helping you. It's worth it if you don't want to risk that property.
A: Yes. Not only must you disclose, but your bankruptcy estate may have an interest in that property depending upon the terms of the prenuptial agreement.
California is a community property state and the marital community can develop an interest in the separate real property of either spouse by using community property earnings - creating equity in the real property from you paying home loans and sharing in the appreciation in the fair market value of the property - pursuant to a formula called the Moore Marsden calculation.
You should speak with an attorney who is familiar with family law.
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