Married filing separately does not address the laws in California that you need addressed so I'm not sure that a CPA can provide much guidance there except to say you've file in a manner that is legal. Married, filing separately, still requires, under federal law, that both parties list the full income for the marriage and the full expenses. Call Ed Cook at (916) 705-4958. He addressed this same question with me, as my CPA. It is often assumed that you can keep all assets separate that way but it's not true.
Still the two bigger questions are the way California views inherited property, and how CA views ownership in property acquired sometime during the marriage. I'd first ask an escrow officer. They deal with this issue every day. If you are still married, I assume you'll need the married partner to sign off on anything that you do, as a safeguard, whether they legally have any rights to the inherited property or not. THEN I'd go confirm with an attorney to see if any considerations were missing in your analysis. I know that you will need to prove that, despite inheriting it, that you used no common funds to maintain the property. If so, he might be able to make a claim that it is now community property, but would he?
The more prepared you are, the better chance that your objective will be attained without courts, etc. California throws lots of roadblocks that are different than federal views. Hopefully, your soon-to-be ex-husband will just cooperate if it's required that he sign off on it and he is presented the facts.
As a realtor, we aren't experts on the answers, but we sure can help you determine the questions and who might best help you. Keep asking.
I am an attorney and also a real estate broker and I would be happy to talk to you about your situation since you really do need legal advice first. Please call me at the number below if you would like to discuss your options.
A Divorce Attorney should have some documents to put in place to legally get you two separated which may allow you a way around having to share in the proceeds.
Feel free to send a message back if you have further needs.
Because you are still married, and I suspect your husband has not signed an interspousal deed quitclaiming his possibly acquired interest to you, then you should talk with your lawyer. Are you legally separated and do you have a "date of separation?" These are all good things to ask your lawyer. If you have hired a divorce lawyer, that individual should be able to help you. If you haven't yet hired a lawyer, this is a good reason to do it.
Unfortunately, as real estate agents, we aren't licensed in that capacity to assist with these types of questions.
I concur with my colleagues. Your question requires the insight of an individual who specializes in tax code and who has had an opportunity to review all of your documentation to make the right determination (and possibly a real estate attorney).
Hope that helps.
Keisha Mathews, REALTORÂ®
CDPEÂ®, HRCÂ®, HAFAÂ® Certified
"SAR Masters Club Member 2012"
Mathews & Co. Realty Group
@ Century 21 Landmark Network
(916) 370-1803 cell
Good Luck and let me know if I can be of further help when you get ready to sell.
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Frank J. Verni
Broker / Realtor
Experienced Broker/Agent Implementing Honesty and Integrity helping Sellers
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