Dallas, TX asked in Divorce and Family Law for California

Q: My husband had a rental property, Soon after we married, he sold it but put my name on the deed. Is that his or ours?

When he sold that house he put me on the deed. I thought it was for tax purposes. at the time.

The money is what we used to buy a new home and we had a joint checking with the remainder.

I just want to know if my name is on the rental property deed on the sale date. Then are the proceeds community property?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Tobie B. Waxman
Tobie B. Waxman
  • Culver City, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Property purchased prior to marriage is separate property of the person who purchased it. If title was transferred to you in a writing (such as an interspousal grant deed), then the property becomes community property as of the date of transfer. The value of the property that accumulated before the date of transfer remains separate property. In your situation however, the property was sold, so it's a moot point. The sale proceeds were put into a joint checking account during marriage and then used to purchase a home -- during the marriage. The home purchased during the marriage is community property, but subject to tracing, could arguably have a separate property interest resulting from a portion of the down payment on that house coming from sale proceeds from a separate property asset. In other words ... it's complicated.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: When your husband put your name on the rental property deed, it typically means you both have ownership rights. Depending on your jurisdiction, the property and its proceeds from the sale could be considered community property. However, property and community property laws vary, so it's best to consult a lawyer familiar with your local laws for personalized advice. They can review your situation and provide guidance based on the specific details and agreements involved. Remember to seek professional legal advice for accurate information tailored to your circumstances.

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