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Wife Brings Family In As Husband Refuses To Put Her Name On The House Deed. Says, “If Things Go South, I Won’t Be Able To Afford A House”. Is This Reasonable?

Is it justified to expect your fiance to give you an equal share in their property possessions? Yes.

Is it also justified to be worried about the long-term effects of decisions like this? Also yes!

A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for not putting my wife’s name on the house deed?”. Let us know what you think in the comments section!

Backstory

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The Original Poster’s (OP’s) partner is his fiancée right now but the argument they’re having is that once they’re married, she wants her name on the house deed.

What Happened Years Ago

2. Couple Angry Fight

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Years ago, OP bought several acres as soon as he could afford it. Back then it was part of a ranch surrounded by other ranches. The owner needed money so he parceled out this section and sold it to OP.

OP built a small house on it and has lived in it ever since.

“Since it was originally part of a ranch, I did enough to legally keep it classified as a ranch so the property tax is extremely low.”, says OP.

The Tables Turned Over Time

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Over the years, companies started to move to the neighboring big city, and land prices started to go up. Almost all of the ranchers sold their lands to developers so now there are huge houses surrounding OP’s house.

What Does OP Say

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“They start from $500,000 and go to several million. None of them sit on even an acre of land. My house is clearly the worst house around and I have no doubt it’s bringing the value of nearby houses down.”, says OP.

What Does OP’s Fiance Want?

Young family struggling with personal finance

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That had all happened before OP met and dated his fiancée. Now that they’re engaged, they’re talking seriously about their finances and the only sticking point is the house. She wants her name on the deed once they’re married because they’ll be sharing their lives.

“Alternatively, she wants me to sell the house and we purchase a house together. I don’t find either option attractive.”, says OP.

What Is OP Worried About?

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In OP’s State, whatever they bring to the marriage, they take out. Since OP will be bringing the house into the marriage, he can leave with it should things not work out. If OP puts her name on it, then she’ll get half. If OP sells the house, there’s no way he’ll be able to afford anything that’s even close to what he has right now.

What Does OP Say

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“Not to mention our property tax will be several times higher. Then there’s the drive time. My house is 30 minutes away from my work and 40 from hers. House prices have gone up so much that we’ll have to move at least an hour away from our jobs.”, says OP.

Fast Forward To This Weekend

Couple having a heated discussion

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Like OP said, he and his fiance agreed with or compromised on everything else. This one issue is the only sticking point and it’s becoming a big one. So much so that she brought her family into it.

This weekend, OP’s fiancé’s father took OP out to dinner to have a man-to-man talk. He told OP that if they’re going to join their lives, they have to join everything. He expects OP to do the right thing if OP wants to join their family.

“So now, it’s her entire family on one side and me by myself on the other. Am I wrong to want to keep the house I built by myself to myself?”, asks OP.

Some More Context

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OP later edited the post and added the following information:

  1. “Neither of us are rich. I bought the land at a meager price but now it’s worth 10 times as much. Even if I offer to sell half of it to her at its current value, there’s no way she can afford it. That’s why if we buy a house together, we’ll have to move far from here and our jobs in order to get one we can both afford.”
  2. “In all, I spent about $200,000 to buy the land and build the house. Everything is paid off and I pay extremely low taxes every year.The tax assessment on my property is about $2 million. I don’t know anything about refinancing, but I highly doubt we would qualify at our salary level. In fact, we’ve spoken to a real estate agent and with a 20% down, our salary qualifies us for a $300,000 house. The property tax on a $300,000 house is many times the current tax I pay now. I’m comfortable with us living in my house and paying all the taxes and maintenance by myself.”

Bringing Family Into It Is A Deal Breaker!

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“Not the jerk, it’s your property and you don’t have to sell it for her or her family. Ask her why she chose to bring her family into something that doesn’t concern them or her. Your home and the land it was on were purchased before you started dating her, she doesn’t get to tell you what you can do with it and the deal breaker for me is that she brought her family of flying monkeys into it.”

That’s A Tricky Situation To Pick Sides

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“No jerks here. I understand both sides of this and both are being a bit cynical here, though OP certainly more so than his fiance. It also isn’t a great loom; she brought her family into this to apply pressure and intervene. Big yellow flag move. Work this out before marriage and postpone as long as is necessary.

The words ‘prenup’ and ‘mediation’ come to mind here, but if you’re already at this point in the honeymoon phase you need to ask yourself if this relationship is going to work.”

Be All In Or All Out

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“You’re the jerk in my opinion. Marriage is a commitment. Be all in or all out. That said, the compromise is to have her on the deed as a tenant in common and a prenup about her percentage interest in it.”

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