Is my wife entitled to any portion of my house if I bought the home before we were married?
And If my wife decides to file for divorce, do I have to leave my home for her and our kids to live in?
South Carolina law, in general, treats property acquired before the marriage as non-marital property. If the court deems “your” house as non-marital property, then your wife would probably not be entitled to any interest in it.However, there are several factors that could be taken into account.
If your wife made “active” contributions (i.e. the house increased in value due to renovations of the house) during the marriage, your wife may be entitled to some interest in the home.
Usually, if a passive increase in value of the house occurred during the marriage (i.e. good housing market), it is unlikely a court will rule that your wife is entitled to an interest or profit from the sale of the house.
Whether you or your wife moves out of the house is very case-specific. Neither you nor your spouse are required to leave the home according to law in South Carolina. However, in order to obtain a no-fault divorce on the ground of a one year continuous separation, the parties must be living separate and apart for over one year without cohabitation.
That being said, one of the parties will eventually need to move out of the house, and there is not a clear answer as to whether you should move out or stay there with your children without knowing more information and the surrounding circumstances of your situation.
It is important for you to contact your local Cordell and Cordell office to meet with an attorney and further discuss your options and best course of action.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general divorce tips for men, so please consult with a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”