The house is mine, or is it?

During initial consultations, a spouse often says to me “He/She signed the house over to me two years ago” or “The house is only in my name.” They expect that this means that they will be awarded the house free and clear and that the other spouse has no interest in the house. This is not true. ORS 107.105(f) provides, in part, as follows: “Subsequent to the filing of a petition for annulment or dissolution of marriage or separation, the rights of the parties in the marital assets shall be considered a species of coownership . . .” This means that regardless of whether a house is titled in only one spouse’s name either because it was purchased that way or because the other house signed a deed transferring ownership solely to the other spouse, the house is still a marital asset subject to equitable division. There are many factors that can play a role in the actual division of the property, including in whose name the house is titled, but that fact is not dispositive.

About Daniel Margolin

Daniel Margolin is a founding partner of Stephens & Margolin LLP and a Portland, Oregon native. His practice focuses on all aspects of family law litigation. Dan applies his litigation expertise to provide additional expertise when assisting clients with Family Law Appeals and Collaborative Divorce matters. To find out more or contact Daniel Margolin, visit Stephens & Margolin LLP
This entry was posted in Dissolution, Divorce, Myths, Property Division. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The house is mine, or is it?

  1. carol says:

    My husband and I have been married for 21 years and kept seperate finances for most of this time. Out home is the only thing of dispute. It cost $255,00 in 2002. And was appraised for this same amount in 2003 when we refinanced. I have paid $126,000 and my husband $26,000 toward the principle. I would like to buy out his share. He thinks he should get 1/2 the appreciated value of the home and I think he should get 1/10th the appreciated value since this is what he has paid. I would of course assume the remainder of the mortgage. How would the courts see it. Plus, is there a way to find out the value of the property without paying for an appraisal.

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