Well, well, that depends. The primary method the feds are going to use to determine your status is whether or not you took deductions for owning a home on your tax return. If you filed a return separate from your wife and had no deductions with respect to a home (interest, property taxes, etc.), and your social security number is not associated with any of the debt for the home, you might actually pass the test.
Contacting an attorney may be of little use if you filed a joint return, or your SSN is associated with any of the accounts related to the home ownership. I'd check with a good tax accountant to wade through this process. Having a good real estate attorney on your side isn't a bad idea, they just may not know enough about the tax law, compared to an accountant.
If you are still married, trying to skirty the issue by having your wife claim that she has no legal interest in your home, might set you up for failure. Then you always have the income issues. If by some magic, you can qualify for the credit, note that the phase out rule is now going to have to use the single filer limit for the phase out rule, which I believe is $75,000.
I was wrong in my answer. It says if either spouse has owned property in the last 4 years you are ineligible.
Name on it or not, as far as the tax credit goes If you wih I will email you list of do and don't pur our by NAR/
I would ask an atty, on this. Yes you have interest in your wife's home - but if you are not on the recorded on any deed do you own any home?
Your wife will. There is a form that she can sign that she has no interest in the home you purchase. ( YES IN TEXAS - THIS HAS TO BE DONE BEFORE PURCHASE WITH A R.E. ATTY. )
If you are not on one and she not on the other you may get by - or you may have a 4,000 otherwise if you really read everything. Go to an Attorney - that is in a Title Attorney.
My understanding you will not qualify for the $8,000 tax credit. I have detail information on my web site concerning the tax credit. Click on Useful Links, then click on the URL for Information For Federal Tax Credit.