My parents own a house (HouseA) that's already been paid in full. I recently bought another house (HouseB) for my parents; it was purchased in their name (they have excellent credit) but I'm paying the whole mortgage.

Here's the issue: my parents want to put their house (HouseA) in my name. The issue is that I'm married, so if they transfer it to my name and we divorce, then HouseA is divided.

I know this may vary by state, but how can they transfer their house (HouseA, which is paid in full) to my name so that if we get divorced, the house is not subject to division upon divorce?

I was briefly told by a lawyer I know that my parents can "sell" me their house, as in me paying my parents a mortgage. So the mortgage I'm paying now for HouseB (the recently-purchased house) would actually go to the mortgate of HouseA.

In other words, my parents would be the bank and they would be selling me HouseA to me. And the monthly payments I'm currently making would actually go to this new mortgage. So let's say the monthly payment for HouseB (the recently-purchased house) is $800: I would "pay" those $800 to my parents as the "mortgage" for HouseA and then my parents would take those $800 and pay the bank for the real mortgage of HouseB.

Does that make sense or is it something that this person made up?


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    You are asking the internet whether a lawyer was right on a point of law? If you really want to do that, try the law.stackexchange.com area; But a better approach would probably be to pay a lawyer to make it happen, assuming it is possible where you are. – keshlam Aug 18 '16 at 3:24
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    None of this has anything to do with what happens if you divorce, though. For meaningful opinions on that, you need a lawyer, full stop. – keshlam Aug 18 '16 at 3:50
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    First I want to know whether this is indeed the question the OP is asking... – keshlam Aug 18 '16 at 3:57
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    If you are worried about a divorce, you should talk about all of your property transactions with a lawyer - including the house bought for your parents. And make sure this is actually paying a lawyer for advice, not taking a lawyer friend out for drinks and a chat, to make sure they can be held legally accountable if they are faulty. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Aug 18 '16 at 14:55
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the key point is one of law rather than personal finance. – keshlam Aug 20 '16 at 7:39

It's always possible for your parents to sell you the house, but to be honest, it sounds to me like the attorney you were talking to is proposing what amounts to a shell game with the properties, a sleight of hand that, in the end, still wouldn't matter when it comes time to deal with marital estate issues.

Keshlam is right -- you really need a good attorney for this, and this is a question more suitable to the "law" stack exchange area.

Don't rely on the advice of a single attorney -- talk to a number of them. It doesn't sound like you need to be in a hurry to do this, so take your time, research it, and do it the right way.

From a personal perspective, my take on it is that rather than thinking of how you can find ways to keep the house in the even of a divorce, I'd be more focused on how to keep the marriage itself. That's more important than a piece of property, IMHO.

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    I would add - don't "talk" to an attorney. Hire one, and get advice that they can be held accountable for under their professional liability insurance. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Aug 18 '16 at 14:56
  • Good point, Bac. Thanks for pointing that distinction! Upvote from me. – Daniel Anderson Aug 18 '16 at 16:13
  • @DanielAnderson, I understand what you mean about keeping the divorce, but there's nothing wrong with our marriage. It's a precaution that my parents want to take. – Mantra Aug 20 '16 at 5:23
  • Let's say you decide to give your married child a gift, and that's the deed to a house that you've paid for. Your child may be happily married, but wouldn't you be the least bit concerned about the possibility of your child losing the house if anything were to happen in the marriage? That's the same concern my parents have. – Mantra Aug 20 '16 at 5:27
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    Realistically, I doubt this is possible unless your spouse is willing to sign a prenuptial agreement or other contract which explicitly relinquishes their claim on the property. But only a lawyer can make any promises about what a judge is likely to do. If this is your primary concern, I have to vote to close this question as off topic; it isn't personal finance. It might fit better in the Law area. Or might not. – keshlam Aug 20 '16 at 7:38

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