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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55467
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I live in California and they have a fiancé that I plan on

Customer Question

I live in California and they have a fiancé that I plan on marrying this month. I sold my home two years ago and I am renting because I want to move from this area and buy a new home or build a new home with someone new.
My fiancé is in discovery Bay and a 2000 ft.² home that's on the water in her equity in the home is $400,000? So she's proposing I write her a check for $200,000 and she will put my name on the deed of trust, I guess that's what it's called?
Does that mean I own 50% of the home and the current equity of 400,000? Or does that mean I own 50% of all future equity as hopefully it grows?
So after I write her a check for $200,000 and I have my name on the deed and lets say the house sells next year for 800,000? So How much of the $400,000 belongs to me?
I don't think I'm explaining the situation are asking the right question but I'm sure you know where I'm going with this so can you please advise.
I'm concerned that if I gave her the $200,000 and she puts my name on the title and we get a divorce in six months that I can be stuck with the payments and because the house did not go up in value to 400,000 I will have actually no equity just a liability with no asset.
The be part of this would probably be how can I protect my $200,000 and not be on the hook for the entire future house payments? And what solution would be fair to both of us?
So what are your thoughts?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
If there is actually equity of $400,000, then it would be fine for you to pay her $200,000 in exchange for her transferring to you an undivided 50% ownership interest in the house. She would do this by signing a warranty deed, having it witnessed and notarized, and then recorded in the real property records of the city/county in which the property is located. This would NOT give you any liability on the loan. Once this is done, you would own 1/2 of the property so that if it was sold, the mortgage would be paid and you would split the remaining proceeds 50/50. If you were to get divorced and she would not either agree to sell the property or buy your interest, you could force the sale of the property by filing a suit for partition. The result of that suit will be one of the following: i) if the property can be equitably subdivided, the court will order the property divided into smaller parcels with each owner then owning 100% of their own smaller tract with full control over that tract; or ii) if the property cannot be equitably subdivided, the court will order the property sold and the proceeds divided. Since a house cannot be divided, the court will order the house sold. The reality is that in most cases, once the owner fighting the sale finds out the certainty of the result of a suit for partition, that owner typically agrees to the sale without the suit to avoid the costs of the suit.
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