Navigating Joint Tenancy and Home Ownership Divorce
Video Transcript: Good afternoon everybody. This is Dustin Peterson and I am an OKC attorney. Today we’re going to be talking about joint tenancy in home ownership in a marriage and what happens to that home in divorce. This is continuing on our discussion of equitable property distribution.
So here’s the situation. The married couple has a joint tenancy of a home and this was affected when the husband, let’s say, purchased the house prior to marriage but then when the parties were married the wife was added to a new deed to the home and that created, through the four unities, you may know possession, interest, title, and time of joint tenancy in the house.
That’s crucial for marriage because say if a creditor were to come after the assets of one spouse in joint tenancy they couldn’t get the house because the other spouse also owns all of the house, 100% of the house, so they couldn’t take it.
So how does this work though in divorce if the husband wanted to divorce the wife having purchased the house with his separate funds prior to marriage and is claiming the house as separate property? Well, because the wife never contributed to the purchase price of the house the husband is going to say, well the source of funds is going to apply here and I should get all of the house because I paid for it.
That’s not the way the courts are going to treat that because there is a presumption that when he added his wife to a new deed to create the joint tenancy that there is a presumption that he gifted a portion of this house or all of this house, ownership of all of this house to the wife. So that is how the wife would try to get her share of the marital property.
If you have any questions about joint tenancy in marriage and who gets the house don’t hesitate to call me, an Oklahoma divorce lawyer, at 405-888-5400 or look me up online at theoklahomacityattorney.com. Get a free consultation today and let’s discuss your options.