El Cajon, CA asked in Divorce for California

Q: Divorce ,......entitlement of quity of house on short term marriage

In California I bought my house 11 years(1998) prior of getting married i was married less that 10 years making my marriage a short term marriage. I didnt put my ex on the title to my house until 2015 ..How many years of equity of the house or percentage of ..is she entitled to. ???

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1 Lawyer Answer
Andy Cook
Andy Cook
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This is somewhat complicated. You would want to look at the difference between the value of the house and the debt on the house at the time you added your wife. Then you would want to look at the equity now. Then, you take the 2015 equity (i.e., the difference between the value and the debt then) and that goes to you. The remaining equity now gets split between the two of you, assuming there is enough equity to do all of this; if there isn't, you get all of the equity.

But if your wife can prove that you used community funds, i.e., your earnings, during the first six years of the marriage, there might be reimbursement to her if the house increased in value. To do this calculation, you would need to look at both the debt and the value of the house at the time of purchase, the time of marriage, and the time her name was added to the title.

As if this were not confusing enough, you could also argue that the adding of her name to the title was the result of undue influence she applied to you and that adding her name should be voided. That's sort of beyond the scope of this answer.

A lot of this depends how much equity is in the house now. If there is not a lot, it doesn't make sense to get into a big accounting war; but if the equity is considerable, you have got to give thought to what I have written.

I hope this helps.

1 user found this answer helpful

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