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Property purchased prior to the marriage is considered separate property; however if, during the marriage, the community makes contributions to the mortgage, the community has an interest in the property, regardless of how title to the house is held. The only way to avoid the community getting an interest is to draft a pre or postnuptial (preferably pre) stating that the property is to be the original owner's separate property, and that mortgage payments will be made from the original owner's income and that the community forsakes any claim that the community property income payments towards the mortgage would otherwise create.
Prenups need to be drafted carefully and should be reviewed by attorneys for both sides, thereby being more likely to defeat later challenges as to its validity.
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