Family Law

Family law questions? Ask a family lawyer online.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

California- My husband and I have been married for 3 and a…

California- My husband and I...
California- My husband and I have been married for 3 and a half years and the money that I came in to the marriage with has been comingled. He owned the house that we live in before he married me. It is in a trust that I and his two kids are beneficiaries of. Since I have children of my own, my question is in regards ***** ***** we divorce. If my name were added to title on the house he previously owned, would I be entitled to any of the equity should we divorce? ( House and marriage are state of California)
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/15/2018
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

To convert the house from his separate property to community property, California law requires that he sign a document specifically stating his intent to do so. Family Code, Section 852. The statute was passed specifically to avoid a situation where a spouse unknowingly converted property from separate to community property by adding a spouse to the deed. If he'll agree to sign something, then you'd be entitled to half the equity should something go wrong.

Note, though, that if he has a mortgage and payments have been made during the marriage, you're automatically entitled to a credit for half the increase in equity due to those mortgage payments. Essentially, that's going to be the amount that the mortgage has decreased during the marriage. The reason for this is that, if he hadn't happened to own the house before marriage, the two of you might have bought a house together where you could have an equity interest. It's not considered fair for him to get 100% of the benefit of payments made during the marriage, since all money earned during the marriage by either of you is community property.

Have I answered your question? If any part of my response is unclear, please reply WITHOUT rating so I can clarify. My goal is to provide excellent service, so if I've done that, please give me a 5-star rating before signing out. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
YOU EXPLAINED THAT SO WELL! IS THERE A SPECIFIC TITLE TO THIS DOCUMENT? OR WILL ANY DRAFTED AND NOTARIZED DOCUMENT SUFFICE?

The name of the law is "Transmutation of Property," but you don't specifically need to call the document that as long as it's clear he's intending to give you half of his interest.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
DOES IT HAVE TO STATE HALF THE INTEREST? COULD HE SPECIFY A DIFFERENT PERCENTAGE OF INTEREST?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
THIS WOULD BE IN CONJUNCTION WITH A DOCUMENT ADDING ME TO THE TITLE ON THE DEED? I WOULD IMAGINE A TITLE OFFICER COULD HELP ME WITH THE CORRECT DOCUMENT?

Yes, he could state any percentage of interest he wanted.

The document would be valid whether he adds you to the title or not. However, adding you to the title protects you in the event that your husband passes away before you. I would not expect a title officer to have these documents. Since the property is currently in a trust, you may want to talk to the lawyer who set up the trustee about adding you as a beneficiary and/or co-trustee.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Youve been amazing. Could you explain to me the difference between a beneficiary and a co-trustee?

A beneficiary means you'd get the property when your husband passes away, but you wouldn't have specific rights to it now. Being named as a beneficiary wouldn't give you any protection in the event of a divorce, because he could simply amend the trust and remove you.

A co-trustee helps manage the trust. In a divorce, you'd be able to use your co-trustee status along wit the transmutation paper to show that your husband converted the house to community property and were entitled to half (or whatever percentage he gave you).

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Would the co-trustee status be necessary in the case of divorce or would the transmutational document still stand alone?

Because the property is currently owned by the trust, not your husband, it's better to be added to the trust as well if possible.

Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Awesome. Thank you!

You're welcome!

Please rate my service positively, as this is the only way that I get paid for the time spent answering your questions. Thank you.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
Verified
Lucy, Esq. and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a family lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
32,264 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.

Lucy, Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

11,971 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney and Counselor at Law

9,034 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

7,856 satisfied customers

I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,593 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including family law.

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

3,571 satisfied customers

Attorney with 17 years experience

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

2,991 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

ScottyMacEsq

ScottyMacEsq

Lawyer

2,828 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Family Law Questions
Family law related. I live in TX. I owned my home prior to
family law related. I live in TX. I owned my home prior to getting married. In 2012, I streamlined re-fi'd. My husband had to initial the deed of trust at that time, but is not listed on the mortgage … read more
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq.
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
32,264 satisfied customers
My question is about my rights in case of a divorce
My question is about my rights in case of a divorce according to California divorce laws. I am a stay at home mom my daughter is 6 month old my husband is in the navy is an E6 and I just recently adde… read more
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq.
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
32,264 satisfied customers
This is a, second marriage and we have no kids together....
This is a, second marriage for me and we have no kids together.... We have only been married 5 years and I make more money than my husband.... The house we live in is in my name and i am willing to gi… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,571 satisfied customers
, I have another legal question regarding my separation
Hi, I have another legal question regarding my separation from spouse. Just before our separation, my husband inherited some property from his family. He added me to title on the property because he n… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,571 satisfied customers
I owned some vacant land prior to marriage. After marriage I
I owned some vacant land prior to marriage. After marriage I changed the title on the land to our newly created family trust. The land sold and the money went back into my personal and separate accoun… read more
Sam
Sam
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,701 satisfied customers
I am Portuguese and my husband American. We married on 1/11/2015
I am Portuguese and my husband American. We married on 1/11/2015 in the County of Riverside, CA. I am here as a legal resident in the US. I am a housewife. Our marriage is broken and I am under emotio… read more
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq.
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
32,264 satisfied customers
I am looking to file for divorce and my spouse and I purchased
I am looking to file for divorce and my spouse and I purchased our home in 2010 and I understood I was not gojng to be on the loan but would be on title . Two months ago I began speaking with a real e… read more
P. Simmons
P. Simmons
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,593 satisfied customers
Hello! I got married 1 year agou in WA . When i moved to my
Hello! I got married 1 year agou in WA . When i moved to my hasbund s house IN SC , he told me that he has a weel for his son . if samething hapens with my hasbund am i gonna be OUTSIDE ??? I HAVE 2 K… read more
LawTalk
LawTalk
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
9,034 satisfied customers
My husband and I have been married for 1 year and 1 month-
My husband and I have been married for 1 year and 1 month- we were married in California and live in California. We have a 7 month old baby. He owned his own town home (which moved into 3 years ago) a… read more
LawTalk
LawTalk
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
9,034 satisfied customers
Hi- I have been married for two years to an ENT Surgeon. We
Hi- I have been married for two years to an ENT Surgeon. We never signed a prenuptial. We have no children together. I was just recently added to the house deed. (he had a home before he married me th… read more
originallawyer
originallawyer
Attorney at Law
Doctoral Degree
905 satisfied customers
I discovered my husband had an affair for more than 5 years
I discovered my husband had an affair for more than 5 years . He and his mistress lived like husbands and wife. He got apartment , car and other things for his mistress under his name because the woma… read more
stevexo
stevexo
Criminal Defense Attorney
Doctoral Degree
992 satisfied customers
My husband does not want to put my name on the deed to the
My husband does not want to put my name on the deed to the house, we have been married 3 years now. I do not see a divorce but what would happen to everything I put into the house if such would happen… read more
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett
Doctoral Degree
25,741 satisfied customers
I live in Berkeley County, West Virginia. My husband and I
I live in Berkeley County, West Virginia. My husband and I are talking of getting a divorce since he has lost all interest in me for years. We have been married for 5 years. My husband came into our m… read more
JerrySJD
JerrySJD
Attorney-at-Law
Doctoral Degree
14 satisfied customers
Hi, I am setting up the steps to file for divorce (no papers
Hi, I am setting up the steps to file for divorce (no papers have been filed as of today). I have a question about my home. I bought my home as a single unmarried woman in 1993. I married in 1999. I r… read more
lwpat
lwpat
Doctoral Degree
6,615 satisfied customers
Im considering a divorce, however my husbands income is social
I'm considering a divorce, however my husbands income is social security and a pension. I don't work that much because of the economy. My name is XXXXX XXXXX deed to the house and our assets are in a … read more
Dr. Miller
Dr. Miller
Lead Attorney Miller Law Offices, LLC.
Doctoral Degree
14 satisfied customers
my husband wants a divorce but has not filed. he owns the house
my husband wants a divorce but has not filed. he owns the house we live in but for five years the mortgage has been paid with community funds. he wants me to move out now. i have no money, no job. can… read more
lwpat
lwpat
Doctoral Degree
6,615 satisfied customers
Hello, I am married to my husband with an Islamic religious
Hello, I am married to my husband with an Islamic religious contract in Jordan since 2001, and we have been living in california since 2002. In the US we don't have a legal US marriage document. We ha… read more
lwpat
lwpat
Doctoral Degree
6,615 satisfied customers
I live in California and was wondering if a fidelity ...
I live in California and was wondering if a fidelity clause in a prenup or cohabitation agreement applies here? In the case of a cohabitation agreement, do I need a lawyer to put it together, or is th… read more
Mike
Mike
Juris Doctor
262 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x