In this Webcast, Preeti Dawane and Gary Port discuss the division of the house when it is bought after the marriage was performed. The basic rule is that if the house is bought after the marriage, it is marital property, regardless of whose name the deed is in. If the down payment can be traced to separate property, then that money comes back off the top. However, separate property does not mean salary earned during the marriage. Many times the breadwinner will claim that because the down payment came from their salary, that they own the house. This is untrue. All money earned during the marriage is marital money. Therefore, if the money for the down payments was earned during the marriage, then that money is marital property.
In Part 2, Preeti and Gary discuss equitable distribution of the marital home went it was acquired before the marriage. While the basic rule is that a house acquired before marriage is separate property, the exceptions, as Gary notes, can swallow a whale.