Years ago, and we're talking about YEARS AGO, when a husband and wife bought a home in Texas, the law required that the woman sign the papers in a room that was private and away from her husband's earshot or obvious ongoing influence.
The title attorney was required to ask her at least three questions before she signed: Do you know that when you sign these papers, you are buying this house in a 50-50 partnership with your husband? Do you know that you and your husband will owe money and will have to pay it back in monthly installments of X apiece until 19xx? If the wife said, "no," to any or all, that ended the whole thing. No sale, no purchase.
So to get around that foolishness, often times the husband bought the new family home in his name only, and it was left to the Texas homestead laws to take care of the wife. The homestead laws said that it didn't matter if the wife's name was left off of the deed; she owned half anyway. And it further said that he would not be able to sell the home in the future without her joint permission.
Well, that business of having the wife sign separately has not been required for at least fifty years, but for some reason, buying the family home only in the name of the husband has continued. And apparently Texas isn't the only place where it has.
We frequently get questions about its implications on the Active Rain Question and Answer site.
It is my opinion that Realtors should encourage that both parties be named on the deed and further, that it would be a good idea for those family homes that were closed in only one name to be reworked to name the wife as an equal owner. The title company or any attorney can do this by filing a correction deed in the public records. The cost is minimal.
Is it necessary? Probably not, but it will certainly go a long way in further shoring up the marriage.