My husband and I live in his late father’s house. He threatens to divorce and says I’ll end up homeless

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Dear Quentin,

I have been married to my husband for four years. Unfortunately, five months after our marriage, my stepfather passed away. We both lived / live in his house. When my husband was a minor, my in-laws created a trust naming him the beneficiary of this house if his parents both died.

Her mother passed away in 2015, and before her death, they both took out reverse mortgages. My stepfather was therefore able to stay at home until his death. Before I lost my job two years after our marriage, I made regular direct deposits into my husband’s checking account to pay off the mortgage, all of which were documented.

Is the house considered a common property in our marriage, or is it considered an inheritance for my husband? Can my husband add someone to the loan or put someone else’s name on the deed without my permission, or do I even have the right to authorize such an action?


“Is the house considered property of the community in our marriage, or is it considered an inheritance for my husband? ”

Does my husband have the right to sell the house to one of his children without involving me in the decision or without my permission? Do I have legal rights to half of the proceeds if we were to sell the house?

My husband inherited a mortgage for $ 430,000 and within 30 days of my stepfather’s death the mortgage was due. My husband took out a mortgage to pay the bank so we could stay in the house. My name is not on the mortgage due to my credit, but my name is on the deed.

Divorce has been mentioned, and he’s threatening me, saying it’s his home and that I have nothing to say about what happens after the divorce and that I should consider myself homeless and broke. He’s quite the dream husband, isn’t he? I am confused, worried, heartbroken, and just anxious for answers. I want to be prepared for the worst.

Worried woman

YesYou can email The Moneyist for any financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at [email protected], and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Dear worried,

Are you sure your name is on the deed?

From what you say, it seems unlikely. If so, you legally own half the house. He is responsible for the loan. But don’t take his word for it. You should obtain a copy of the deed and consult an attorney to review the laws in your state. Your local city / county will have an act registry.

If your husband inherited a house, it is a separate property. If, however, he has mixed that asset with matrimonial funds, it is community / matrimonial property. By refinancing the loan on the house with the funds from the marriage, that house likely becomes the property of the community.

But it is not cheap. “If you’re married and own a separate property in California, retaining your exclusive right to your home can get complicated, especially if you decide to refinance it,” according to Christina Sherman’s law firm in San Rafael, California.

“This is because the lender, before approving your mortgage, may consider both your income and that of your spouse when determining whether or not to refinance your home. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement, the income earned is the property of the community, ”writes Sherman.

Sherman adds, “If the lender looks at the income earned to secure the loan, the loan proceeds will be kept in community property. In other words, unless you have a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, you own the loan and the obligation to repay it jointly.

Whether or not he is a dream husband doesn’t matter. You chose it, and you can choose a different life just as easily. Focus on your own goals: what kind of life do you want for yourself? It’s time to make plans to become financially and emotionally independent.

You’ve been married for four years, and it seems like an unhealthy relationship – a relationship that has had an uneven balance of power, given that you lived in your stepfather’s house. Strengthen yourself with knowledge and decide on a course of action.

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The Monetary regrets not being able to answer the questions individually.

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