What is considered abandonment of property

Ex wifes name is on the deed but not on
the mortgage. Does she have any rights
to it since she hasnt paid a dime of the
mortgage,taxes, utilities and upkeep for
more than 5 years. My name is on the
mortgage and the deed. I have paid
everything mentioned above on my own for
the last 5 years..

Asked on August 21, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If she is on the deed, she is an owner: the deed, not mortgage, determines who owns the property (the mortgage determines who is responsible to pay the loan).
An owner does NOT lose her rights by not paying the costs of the property: she has not legally abandoned it. You may be entitled to a larger share of the proceeds or equity of the property in a divorce or if and when the property sells, due to your larger contributions to it, but she still remains an owner. You may wish to negotiate a mutually agreeable buy-out to resolve the situation, but your payments should be taken into account in determining the price, since if this matter ended up in court, a judge would likely give you credit for having made payments she did not.


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