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What to do when husband will not put me on the deed?
Married Life / 11:58 AM - Wednesday April 28, 2010

What to do when husband will not put me on the deed?

Eight years ago I married my husband when he was 40. He already owned a home, which I moved into. We then moved to a new home and, being naive, I didn't question my name not being on the deed until after the closing. I asked him to put my name on the deed but he refuses to do so.

He makes, on average, at least 3x as much as I do (I know this because we file our taxes together), the mortgage is in his name and he makes the monthly payments. Additionally, he will not willing to share his finances with me - he has established 3 separate LLCs (investment real estate properties) and we maintain separate checking / saving accounts. We have had two kids together and my pay goes towards paying part of our nanny's weekly salary, health insurance for the family, groceries, cloths for the kids, kid's activities, cable, phone, birthday / holiday gifts, household items, etc. At the end of the month I have nothing left and am not building equity.

My state is not a community property state so while he is protected in the event of a divorce I am not. Putting finances aside, we have a very good marriage which I why I am so conflicted by the current situation. I could threaten to leave if he doesn't at least put me on the deed but am wondering if it makes sense to wait until we are married two years longer as I may be entitled to more after 10 years of marriage than 8. I honestly don't know what he would do if I presented him with this ultimatum. If we did end up getting a divorce it would tear our kids apart emotionally and my lifestyle would greatly impacted as I could not afford to live in the area we are living now - I am not sure how I would make ends meet. The entire thought is very disconcerting if not scary to me.

- Asked by Female, 46-55

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Apparently you guys didn't discuss finances before Marriage. It's so odd to me how people just bypass these important facts before marriage.

Anyway, that's done now so you have a situation. I first think you need to calm down about divorce. Surely if he's this good man he wouldn't divorce you for discussing finances. Surely he'd want his kids to be taken care of in the event of some disaster or even divorce so I wouldn't get that worried about making ends meet. If you feel worried about keeping the same lifestyle, get a better paying job now and make more money. Then if something happened, you'd be in better position to keep some of your lifestyle in tact. Ditch the nanny and find less expensive Daycare so that you do have 'something left'.

Talk to your Husband and tell him how this separate Finance and not being on the Deed has you worried about the unity of the marriage as well as the future should something go wrong. If he's a reasonable man he'll have a good explanation or he'll consider his methods and change them. Good luck!

- Response by thottienc, A Career Woman, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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why dont you make your own money instead of trying to get his?

- Response by A Career Man, Male, 46-55, New York, Who Cares?

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Time to start a saving account and make your husband start contributing more the the household needs. Like you said, his future is set, yours is not. Put in at least half of your paycheck each week.

When he asks about the saving, tell him your reasoning. That although you love him, you need to be prepared in case things change. If he has a fit about it, you need to start worrying. If he is understanding, then you know you have a solid marriage and he cares for your well being as well.

- Response by curious_cat67, A Trendsetter, Female, 46-55

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Not being on the deed is NOT a reason for divorce. I would consult a family law attorney regarding your rights and what actions you can do now as a precaution and in the event your husband suddenly died or was unable to work.

- Response by msadvise, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Transportation

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You're considering issuing an ultimatum that might end your marriage and contemplating waiting around for two more years just so you can get more and you think you have a good marriage? That's laughable! You should have wised up and took control over your finances eight years ago. If he dies, can no longer work or decides to leave you're screwed!

- Response by houseworkmakesyaugly, A Married Girl, Female, 36-45

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First, your not being on the deed could be for a good reason. If he owns multiple properties then there are liability issues (regardless of the LLC each property is in). Secondly, my wife isn't on the deed to my house and she's not on the mortgage. When things get tight and the mortgage gets a month behind for a month or two, it hacks my credit, but she maintains a perfect credit score. If we have need in the future we can structure things and use her perfect credit to get through a jam.

Second, it doesn't matter if the property is in his name or in the name of LLCs ect... regardless of the community property state or not. If you get a divorce, it all comes into play and is available. Any half decent divorce attorney would make the argument that he built equity in each of these properties at your expense (paying out 100% of your income on the maritail bills) and thus that equity is attributibal to you. They would also argue that your inequitible contribution to the maritail bills demonstartes your commitment to the marriage and your greater investment in seeing your joint success by building his equity. And any judge would say that it would be inequitible to exclude these assets from the divorce proceedings.

I think the problem here is that your not communicating effectively with your husband, tell him how you feel, tell him your concerns, and explain to him that if he is committed to the relatinship then he should want to set your mind to ease regarding these issues.

My wife doesn't worry about not being on the deed or the mortgage because she understands that I am keeping her credit score perfect in case of an emergency. Further if we were to get divorced, she would be in a better position with that credit score get through months of "divorce fighting over assets"

Finally, as an estate planning matter, our vacation house, which I owned before we married and I paid the mortgage off before we married has been transfered to trust with our children as beneficiaries. The trust is designed to give the kids the step up in basis through my estate, but protects the property from creditors, but that is a whole other issue.

- Response by A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 36-45, Self-Employed

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If you feel you have to threaten to leave him in order to get him to listen to your concerns and actually do something about them, you already have something wrong with your marriage.

I'd do this: sit him down, say this is serious and you expect him to DO something based on this conversation. Tell him that you are no longer putting your entire salary toward house / kid expenses if he cannot put your name on that home. Either you start building a nest egg OR you have some right to the "nest" that he already owns.

You deserve the security of either one or the other. He gives it to you or he doesn't. It seems like he wants to keep you in a very insecure position financially, and that really speaks to power issues on his part. Don't let him do this to you. Stay calm, but stay focused on what you want and what you're not giving up.

If he's a d**k at your talk, do this: every single time the usual type of household activity comes up, have the kids ask daddy for money. Every time you need anything at all, ask him to pay the expenses OR make sure he has to do without some really common, embarrassing item. Don't pay for basic stuff anymore--keep just enough for yourself and the kids and make sure he notices the lack of it in the house. He paid his own household expenses when he was a bachelor, so why can't he do it now? The kids are his, too, so why can't he pay for the lifestyle they deserve, too? Just wear him down this way. I guarantee you he won't divorce you for it--from what he's done so far, he just wants you on a leash, a financial leash in this case.

- Response by electragold21, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, New York, Teaching

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Should have discussed finances before marriage rather than 8 years later. Sorry, but that's the truth.

- Response by lmarks, A Life of the Party, Male, 29-35, Los Angeles, Who Cares?

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Why do you feel free to explain this all to us, but afraid to talk to a man that you share a bed with for the last eight years? Maybe there's a reason he's sheltering your money that's not evil or to lock you out.

You haven't been his partner for a long time. I would guess that you've given him the impression that what he's doing was ok with you. It's time that you have a heart to heart talk with your husband. Tell him that you fear for your future and the future of your children. Then make an appointment with your accountant, lawyer, and anyone else who have information about your SHARED assets so that you can see where the skeletons are hiding. OR you can just go and meet with an attorney on your own and ask him/her about your alternatives should he leave you. Every state have spousal advocacy attorneys who can make sure that you're not in the cold should he leave. Stop being passive. Become a role model for your children. I'm not telling you to leave your husband, but in any partnership, you deserve more consideration.

- Response by rhunt0210, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 46-55, Other Profession

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As others have said talk to him first if you get nowhere
then consult a lawyer and start taking even a few dollars a week and open your own account so you will have something in case things don;t work out.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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Why is it so important that you get on the deed? You want to feel like your an "equal?"

In one breath your talking about how you want to be on the deed on in the next breath your talking about a divorce. (WTF?)

Is it no wonder why he didn't put you on the deed? He may be worred as well?

Additionally, its no easy thing to slap someone's name on a deed anyway. It doesn't work that way. Your finances have to be as strong as his (or close to it) in order to even qualify to be on the house loan. If you can't afford to buy a house yourself then you probably wouldn't qualify to get on the deed with your husband -- UNLESS he wanted to willingly take a HIGHER interest rate on the mortgage simply because you wanted your name on it.

That is how it works. Your credit score and work history has to basically match his other wise the bank puts the lender into a higher risk bracket and there for you will pay higher interest rates (on the mortgage as a result.

Good luck.

- Response by skycop, A Father Figure, Male, 46-55, Consulting

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Here's what I think is fair:

You should get half of the EQUITY of the house from the time you were married:

If the house was worth $100,000 8 years ago, and is not worth $150,000, you would get $25,000. That way, you benefit from what you've paid. Nothing more and nothing less.

I don't think he should have to put you on the deed, BUT I think you are entitled to your fair share.

You should have a joint account, and then each have your own savings accounts. This doesn't seem like a marriage to me. He seems stingy.

As far as the businesses go...they are his businesses. I think it's wrong of him to be SO private, but he's entitled to keep his business dealings private.

Talk to him and see if he'll agree to draw up and agreement in regards to my suggestion above. Also, you need to make sure you each have a will. You don't want to be kicked out of your own home should something happen to him.


- Response by myndseye711, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Bilbao, Celebrity

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Is it possible that the reason 3 out of 4 marriages end in divorce is because we got married trying to figure out how we go about getting divorced from day one and getting half of the other's property? Doesn't matter if you are the wife or husband, I got married with the entent to die before we seperated, so far, after 41 years, I think I made a good bet. Her, what the hell, she got me. She got screwed in this deal, but I didn't. Now if she divorces me, we will not split anything, she can have it all.

- Response by phoenixbandit, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older, Columbus, Law Enforcement

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Your husband should have had a prenuptial agreement signed as he probably has put more into the home than you have. Most cases when divorce happens ..You would receive 1/2 the equity earned from the time of your marriage until the separation date. The equity is the increase of value of the home based on current market value. Rosey

- Response by roseytalks, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Tampa, Who Cares?

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You need professional advice on this. Call a lawyer.

- Response by trawna, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Toronto, Consulting

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