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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3171
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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My husband owned the home we live in Maryland before our marriage

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My husband owned the home we live in Maryland before our marriage and the home is paid for. He pays all bills related to the house. In his Trust, upon his death I am allowed to live here as a Life Tenant rent free as long as I pay the utilities, taxes and maintenance. Upon my death then the house goes to his 2 children. In Maryland don't I own half the home anyway?

No. In Maryland, as in most states, "marital property" is considered to be property that is acquired after the marriage takes place. Since the house was acquired by your husband before the marriage, the house would not be considered marital property unless he added your name to the deed. And I take it from what you have written that your husband has not added your name to the deed. So, the house is entirely his to dispose of as he wishes.

However, if you were to divorce you would be entitled to any increase in value of the house since you got married. So for instance, lets say the house was worth $500,000 at the time you got married. And lets say that at the time you divorced (hypothetically) the house was worth $1,000,000. There is an increase of $500,000. That increase of $500,000 would be considered marital property, and you would be entitled to approximately 1/2 of that $500,000 or $250,000.

I hope this answers your question.

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