What am I entitled to?

My ex and I divorced in November of 2006. We jointly owned property in Alabama. In June of 2007, I moved back to Florida. We did not settle our property in Alabama and to this day my name is still on the deed. He has since remarried and wants me off the deed. He said he sought legal advice and they said that since I haven’t paid on it since our divorce then I’m not entitled to any of it and he can build a house without my signature or getting off the deed. He wants to offer me 3000 which is not acceptable to me. Is his information correct?

Asked on July 6, 2016 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, he is wrong. (Which is why you should never take legal advice from the other side or party, who has his own agenda.) If the two of you are on the deed, you are a 50% owner: you have an equal say in what happens to the property (i.e. he can't do anything with it unilaterally) and, were it to be sold, would get 50% of the proceeds. 
The above said:
1) When the two owners of real estate disagree as what should be done with it, either can bring an action "for partition" in court: that is, either owner can bring a lawsuit requesting a court either physically divide the property (as may be practical with an unimproved lot) or else order the sale of the property and the division of the proceeds. 
2) If your ex has paid more than you on the property, he does have a good case that he should be credited for such amount in any sale, etc. While it's not certain he'd prevail on that argument, there's at least a chance that a court would credit him for his payments. So say that he has paid $80,000 over 10 years in property taxes, while you have not. Say the property were sold, or its sale ordered by a court, for $400,000 profit...he could make a good argument, and might win on, the position that instead of splitting the profit $200k/$200k, it should be split $240k/$160k to reflect that he paid the necessary taxes while you did not.


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