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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 99450
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have asked this question before and have gotten different

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I have asked this question before and have gotten different answers but the end results were close. So here is my question. I purchased my home before I got remarried. I got remarried for I got my wife pregnant while we were dating. I did refinance the loan for a cash out home improvement project for 15 thousand dollars. My wife did have to sign her name on that home equity loan.Now we are talking about splitting up so legally what does the great state of Texas think I owe my wife for this house

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Well, I am going to go all out on your answer, and I'm a Texas licensed family law attorney, so I will say this is FINAL...You live in a community property state. Therefore, your marital property will be divided thusly --

Separate property and debt is property that is generally:

1. Owned before marriage by one spouse; or

2. Acquired by gift or will or similar legal way by spouse during marriage; or

3. Declared as such by prenup or postup; or

4. Traceable property purchased by one spouse only; or

5. Tort Recovery for personal injury, but not medical expenses or loss of earning capacity.

Separate property and debt is awarded to the party which had claim to it in accordance with the rules above.

Community Property and debt is everything else, including but not limited to:

1. Income from BOTH parties; or

2. Declared as such by prenup and postup; or

3. Gift from one spouse to another; or

4; All titled and non-titled property gathered during marriage.

Community property is AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMED unless proven to be separate property by a party “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Community property and debt is split 50/50. Now what you did, that's called "property improvement." Now here is answer: YOUR WIFE IS ENTITLED TO 1/2 OF THE PROPERTY IMPROVEMENT VALUE OR 1/2 OF THE MONEY TAKEN OUT. The house is YOURS, but SHE is entitled to the value of the improvement that was done with her help/in her name. Got it?

Best of luck in your matter. I'm here if you need any more clarification or follow up info.

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