Did that house you owned before marriage and then refinanced during marriage become community property? This is a very common question that comes up in a Woodlands Divorce, usually as the result of rushing through the refinance process without considering the impact certain documents can have on characterizing the house as separate property or community property. Separate property is always separate property, that much is true; however, if you change the title on separate property you may have accidentally given up the protection separate property has in a divorce.
As we’ve discussed before, separate property is property acquired before the marriage. It is important to identify separate property because in a divorce case the judge does not have the authority to award your ex-spouse your separate property, the judge can only divide community property. As long as the name on the title of separate property does not change it will remain separate property. Unfortunately in a refinance transaction the lenders usually end up having people name their spouse as co-owners of the property. During the refinance process your lender may have told you that it would be quicker or easier to have both spouses on everything. That may be true for them, but it could have put you in great jeopardy.
If you accidentally made your spouse a co-owner of the home during the marriage then you have opened yourself up to a hornet’s nest of community property litigation in your Woodlands Divorce case which could have been avoided with some careful planning ahead of time. Contact us today at (832) 592-7913 if you need to protect your rights to separate or community property.
Check out our free Woodlands Divorce Guide if you need more answers.