Buying a Home married but separated- Community Property State Barriers

Community Property State Barriers for Married but Separated couples.

Over the years I have dealt with all kinds of situations. One particular situation is someone trying to buy a home but the other half is gone to “who knows where.” They are not legally divorced for what ever reason. I will get calls to buy a home, but that individual is still married and to make matters worse the other half is nowhere to be found.

In some states this can be a huge problem when trying to buy a home. Currently there are 9 states that are community property states.

They are:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

A community property state is where the law requires all assets you acquire while married be split 50/50. When trying to purchase a home in a community property state and you are separated but married, you will not be able to buy without your spouse. When buying a home even if your spouse is not on the loan, the lender will require your spouse to sign the “Deed of Trust” at closing. This is where you run into issues with mortgage loans. The Deed of Trust gives the ownership a 50/50 scenario of all proceeds after a sale. There is no way to get around this other than both parties showing up for closing or legal divorce.

Author: Mike Clover

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