Can I leave the marital home and still maintain ownership without a separation agreement?

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Can I leave the marital home and still maintain ownership without a separation agreement?

My wife and I decided to get a divorce over a year ago, recently we have began the process. We listed our home for sale a little over a month ago and it has yet to sell. Because of the issues we are having I would like to move into a apartment but I still want to maintain my ownership in the home and be eligible to half of the proceeds once the home sells. My wife however, refuses to sign a separation agreement unless I agree to certain things like waiving her retirement. So I decided I am going to just leave but continue to pay the 1st mortgage, why wife already pays a 2nd mortgage. Is this OK?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Family Law, Maryland

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your problems.  While I can not tell you what to do here, I can tell you that leaving the house does not in and of itself relinquish your ownership rights and your right to equity upon the sale.  Yes, I would continue to pay for the bills - mortgage, taxes - and upkeep.  You are wise not to sign any thing that waives your rights under the law and pension and retirement proceeds are marital assets so based upon your particular situation you could be entitled to a portion upon divorce.  Seek some legal help here as soon as you possibly can if you have not already done so.  You can not negotiate on your own unless and until you know what you are entitled to under the law.  Good luck.


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