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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34884
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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My daughter and son-in-law are seperating. They have been

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My daughter and son-in-law are seperating. They have been married for 15 months. I loaned them the money to buy a house in December 2009, one month after they married. I put the deed to the house in my daughters name only. I did this to protect myself in case the marriage went south.
However the mortgage loan, payable to me, is in both of their names. My daughter will stay in the house and continue to make the mortgage payments on her own. My question is; Can my son-in-law claim the house is community property or is it still my daughters sole property even though the loan is in both of their names.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

First of all, your intelligent forethought likely saved you and your daughter a HUGE headache. By placing the property in only your daughter's name, the court will presume that she is the sole owner of the property.

Her husband in theory could seek to collect his share of 50% of the increase in value of the property, over the original purchase price---but that is the most he will be able to recover---and given the lousy housing market, that may well be zero.

Your daughter will keep the home.

I wish you and your family the bast in 2011.

Would you be so kind as to Accept my Answer so that I may be compensated for assisting you? Thanks Again,


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I assume...never mind, one should never assume anything. If he requests his share of any possible increase in the homes value would that value be determined as of right now or at such time as she sells the home, maybe 10 years from now? If it is based on the value today, should I get the house appraised just to keep that information at hand? Also, should I take his name off the loan so he doesn't use that as some sort of leverage to claim community property? California is a community property state.

Good morning,

I've been licensed in CA for almost 3 decades---I know that it is a community property state.

Under CA law, the valuation of his share of any increase in value is generally calculated as close to the divorce decree as is possible.

You have no obligation to take his name off the obligation---despite the fact that he is not entitled to the property.

Getting an appraisal at this point, or in the near future, would be a good idea. More importantly, make sure that your daughter gets the divorce petition on file ASAP.

Thank you very much for having allowed me to assist you. Please, remember that I only receive credit for helping you when you Accept my answers. Until then your payment is simply held on deposit. Subscription customers incur no additional charges by Accepting. So, please click the ACCEPT icon. Thanks again.


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