My Fiances rights after leaving her ex?

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My Fiances rights after leaving her ex?

My fiance was with her ex Not Married for almost 15 years. They had a
tulmultous realtionship that didn’t end so well. They had 3 kids together and
purchased a home in both of their names. When I came into the picture After they
were seperated She moved out of the home Came to live with me and he moved in.
She brought along her 2 youngest kids and the oldest stayed with dad. She along
with him paid the house off Around 100K. She wants to know if she is entitled
for half the homes Wortth? He says because she left that she relinquished the
home and abandoned it and is not entitled to her half? Thank-you

Asked on September 30, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

He is wrong: whether she lived there or not has NO impact on her legal ownership of it or her entitlement to the proceeds from selling it. (After all: think about all the investment real estate owned by people who don't live there; clearly, they all get the proceeds of the real estate when it is sold.) If she was still half owner, she gets 1/2 the proceeds (after paying any realtor commission, costs of sale, and paying off the mortgage). 
The one way in which he is *partially*--very partially--right is that if has been paying maintenance, utilites, and other carrying costs for some period of time without a contribution from her, he may be entitled to a credit for that--if the matter went to court, a court would likely give him something. So say that the proceeds are $100k after costs of sale, etc., or $50k each. Say that after she moved out, he paid (and can prove he paid) $10k in carrying costs on his own. In that case, the split should probably be $45k her, $55k him, and ideally, they'd agree to a split like mutually, since the alternative, if he is determined to get something for his contributions, would be for him to go to court and probably get that split (or something like it) anyway--better to agree therefore, without having to go to court.


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