keeping family home safe if kids divorce - Posted by tammy

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keeping family home safe if kids divorce - Posted by tammy

Posted by tammy on July 05, 2003 at 09:13:52:

I am selling my home to my son, he will be getting married in a few weeks. I am giving him a gift of equity of app 20,000, the home has been in the family for around 50years. He will be taking ownership of the house just before he marries. I am selling him a house and 5 acres that I separated off from a family farm. I would like to protect this property in the chance that his marriage does not last. What would be the precautions I should take in selling it to him? Thanks for any suggestions.

Re: keeping family home safe if kids divorce - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on July 06, 2003 at 09:50:56:

It also depends on the laws pertaining to marital property in your state.

For an example, our state is not a community property state.

A cousin of mine purchased a home before he got he married. The home and the mortgage was in his name only. Later, after he was married, he refinanced the house and his wife was added to the deed and the new mortgage. They later divorced and she got the house. But under our state law, had he never refinanced, where the home would have remained in his name, where he had purchased it prior to the marriage, he would have been able to keep the home and she would have not be able to get anything pertaining to the house. But since they did refinance the house after they were married, and she was added on the deed and on the new mortgage, she was able to get the house in the divorce.

You need to sit down with a qualified attorney to determine the best way to set this up in order to avoid any potential problems later.

Re: keeping family home safe if kids divorce - Posted by Roer Schirmbeck - Texas

Posted by Roer Schirmbeck - Texas on July 06, 2003 at 09:37:48:


You canot give a gift of more than $11,000.00 per year without filing a gift tax return and possible gift tax considerations. If you are married and the house belongs to him as well your husband could also make a similar gift.

You could also put the house in a trust for your son’s benefit and she would not get it if they divorce.


Re: keeping family home safe if kids divorce - Posted by John Merchant

Posted by John Merchant on July 05, 2003 at 11:32:16:

Wow! I can’t begin to tell you how many deals like this I’ve seen, that went very bad. So my advice would be to just give a little time before you jump into giving him your property.

Maybe a lease with a provision that if a divorce should be filed, it’s thereupon terminated.

But nothing irrevocable until some time passes and the marriage proves to be a keeper.

Do consult with and get help from your lawyer with any arrangement with son & wife.

Re: If in doubt - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on July 05, 2003 at 10:07:58:

Do not sell. Do not let him get the deed, because then it will be his family home not yours. If he should divorce “his” home may be in jeapordy, and the most that you can do is to sit and watch.

There are some options that may work better, among them might be a long term lease, or a family limited partnership. The family limited partnership could be set up so that he has ownership, but you retain control. This might work better for a while. You need a good attorney who does this type of partnership structuring.

Re: keeping family home safe if kids divorce - Posted by jenv

Posted by jenv on July 07, 2003 at 11:29:41:

If he was sole debtor, would the refinance, by itself, have been sufficient to make the house marital property, or was adding her to the deed what did him in?