First and foremost, I’m not getting divorced, I’m not even married, this is just a question that’s been nagging me. When my ex-wife and I split up I got lucky and she (leaving the details out) told me I could keep the house.
My question is, if you own a house for a while, get married then a few years later get divorced, how is the house split?
For example. Lets say you buy a house for $200,000. You pay it down to $150,000. Get married. While married you pay it down to $100,000 and that’s when you get divorced. The house, (play along) is still valued at $200,000 and someone should be handing the other person $100,000 to stay in that house or, in some cases) it would be sold and each party would be given $100,000 to walk away.
However, you paid $50,000 on your own and $50,000 while married. It seems to me that you should get back your original $50k and the other $50k would be split.
IOW, I should be able to buy out my ex for $25k or she should be able to buy me out for $75k. OR, the house could be sold, I get 75k and she gets 25k (and the bank would get 100k)
That’s what seems fair. However, when I got married, we didn’t, that I can recall, have to disclose all the stuff we entered the marriage with.*
Is this where a prenup comes in? Is this where I go to my soon to be wife and say 'I’ve paid this house down by $50k, if we get divorced, either I get the first 50k back and we split the rest OR you can buy me out for 50K plus half of whatever is paid down while we were married"?
And, again, for the sake of the question, let’s assume what you pay for the house is the same price that it appraises and/or sells at later on, it’s just easier that way.
Like I said, this is just something that’s nagging me, especially as I pay extra on my mortgage each month. I have a business that I may inherit some day and that’s probably reason enough to get a prenup, but already having 25%+ of my house paid, I’d hate to lose that.
It seems like one ‘trick’ would be to (quietly) have the house appraised and keep a mortgage statement from right before the marraige. That way, should you get divorced, it’s easily proved how much the house was worth and how much was owed on it at that time. Perhaps even make sure you have the original loan documents in that same area to show how much you paid down.
So TLDR, I always hear that you split what you aquired during the marriage, how does that work with a house loan which you may ‘acquire’ both before AND during the a marriage
*FTR, I’ve always thought that would be a good idea. When you fill out your marriage application (with the county), list all things, negative or positive, worth over some certain amount, say $5000. So things like credit card debt, bank/savings/brokerage accounts, houses, cars etc, expensive furniture or jewelry, etc. Especially in this day and age of so many marriages ending in divorce, and least the big things that each party entered into the marriage would be on paper and could be subtracted out before splitting the rest of the belongings…perhaps if a certain amount of time has elapsed that gets ignored…it’s just a thought. It just seems like it would be so easy for one person to say ‘that $3000 leather couch, HA, you bought that while we were married (unless you can prove otherwise)!’.