My wife has a condo that I’ve been sharing the payment on since we were engaged, what is my obligation to become equal owner?

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My wife has a condo that I’ve been sharing the payment on since we were engaged, what is my obligation to become equal owner?

The property (rental) has had an upside down mortgage when I started making payments, and that has not changed. My wife thinks I should buy-in to the property based on her original investment before I ever knew her. I believe it’s based solely on the value of the property when I started sharing the payments, which was less than what she owed, so I shouldn’t be obligated to pay anything more than the mortgage payment. Who is correct?

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Or maybe it should be half the the value of the property at the time you started paying the mortgage and not the amount of the mortgage.  They are different.  It appears that you two will not be able to agree at this stage so I would suggest that you come to a compromise.  You need to compile all the numbers from each perspective and then come to an agreement.  But consider this: if there has been an increased amount of equity since your wife purchased the condo and you bought in to it, she may be entitled to the increase amount up to that point when you sell as separate property.  In other words, she may be entitled to more than the half you may think that you will receive. Think about it. And agree to things in writing. Good luck.


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