Dangers of Buying a House While Separated

So, you’ve been separated from your spouse for a while and you’re not ready to take the step to divorce.  However, you are ready to buy a new house or condo.  Well, it can be done.  But be prepared for some issues you may not have thought about.  You can still legally buy the house but  should you?

Let’s say you just ignore the problem.  When you sit down to sign all the papers at the title company, eventually they will hand you a document to state your marital status to determine how title will be held.  If you say you are married, then you can’t close unless your spouse also comes in to sign away his or her interest.  Or you can lie and say you’re single.  (Not a good idea).  A divorce judge would treat the house as community property and give half to your spouse.  You’ll also look real dishonest to your judge when your credibility matters most.

Assuming you get along well enough with your separated spouse, will he or she really sign away his or her interest?  And if he or she does, will you really own the house all by yourself?  Not necessarily.  If you use community funds to buy the house and pay the mortgage with community funds, guess what.  Your spouse still will have a claim to the house.  So…you might want to get your marital house in order before you get your new house in order.

For more than 23 years, Attorney Ethan Kottler has practiced in the area of family law, divorce, custody, estate planning and guardianship matters representing clients throughout the state of Nevada.

Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.