Q: I am in the process of getting separated and want to purchase a house after separation.
If I purchase a house after a legal separation in Maine, does my spouse have claim to it if it is in my name and I'm paying the mortgage. I am buying the house for her and my children to live in, as I am active duty military and she refuses to leave the state. I am doing this mostly to provide shelter for my children, but she will have physical custody of them, though we will have joint custody. Will she have a claim to the house just because she's living in it, or will the house remain mine because it is in my name and I will be paying the mortgage?
A: Under Maine law, the general rule is all property acquired by either spouse after the marriage and before a decree of legal separation is considered to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually. Accordingly, one key question will be did you obtain a decree of legal separation before you purchased (or will purchase) the house?
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