Q: How is real estate equity divided after a divorce if one spouse owned the house with equity prior to marriage?
A: It makes a huge difference if the spouse who owned the property prior to the marriage ever transfered co-ownership to the other spouse during the marriage. This is a vital fact that you have not provided. If he or she did put the property in co ownership, then the property is most likely a marital asset, which is likely to be divided 50-50, depending on some other facts that you have not disclosed to us.
If the house has always been in the name of the owning party, then the home is not likely going to be deemed a marital asset, and there will be no division of equity, as such. However, the spouse whose name is not on title may have some claim to reimbursement of the marital funds that benefitted the owning party's non-marital estate.
A: Based on your question, there is no way to know if the house was ever transferred into both parties' names. If this situation is for you or someone you care about, there are some critical facts needed before an attorney could help you without simply guessing some critical facts. It would be worth a small investment to speak with a qualified attorney near you for some dialogue so that attorney can properly help you.
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