Unless you can establish otherwise, money or property in your partner's sole name will be believed to be theirs alone. You do not have the right to financial assistance for yourself, but you do have the right to support any dependent children. How about our house? Under California law, anyone who is married is considered to have joint ownership of their home. This means that if your spouse dies, they would not need to release the home from the mortgage in order to free up its value. The mortgage would continue to be paid by continuing to send monthly payments directly to the bank. If your spouse was going through a divorce at the time of their death, then the divorce process would need to complete before we could say with certainty that they were able to transfer away their interest in the home.
If your spouse was having an affair and did not tell you about it, then they have hidden their true identity behind a veil of confidentiality. As such, they cannot be counted on to help pay off any debt or provide any type of support unless there has been a legal separation or divorce.
In conclusion, if you believe that you are entitled to your spouse's house, then it's best to start preparing now so that you won't fall into any traps later on. A qualified estate planning attorney can help you create a plan that accounts for all possible scenarios including those mentioned here. They can also advise you on how to proceed if your spouse refuses to cooperate.
Provided you do not have children and your spouse is the only owner, you may be able to claim long-term rights to the property if you can demonstrate a "beneficial interest" in it. This is a method of asking a court to formally recognize your contributions to the household. Courts will usually do this when dividing up marital assets because it helps keep track of who owns what.
A beneficial interest requires proof that you contributed toward the purchase price of the house or its improvement's costs. If your spouse paid for all or part of these expenses, he or she would own the house instead.
In addition to demonstrating a contribution, you must also show that you intend to continue to enjoy the benefit after the marriage ends. If your spouse dies, for example, you would not be able to retain ownership of the house since there is no way you could prove your continued enjoyment of it.
The legal definition of a beneficial interest includes tenants by the entireties and joint tenants. A tenancy by the entirety is created when a husband and wife take title to real estate as joint owners with right of survivorship. Upon the death of one spouse, the other still retains ownership until he or she transfers his or her interest in the property to another person. A joint tenancy is identical to a tenancy by the entirety except that it can only contain two owners and not more than four.