What are my rights regarding sale of the home and the proceeds in a divorce?

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What are my rights regarding sale of the home and the proceeds in a divorce?

I’m going through a divorce and my ex and I we’re hoping to split up amicably without getting lawyer’s involved. Since we made this decision he has moved out of our home and I am living here. We agreed I would live in the property until the economy got better and we could sell the home. He bought the house 7 years ago before we were married and never put my name on the mortgage. Then 4 months ago he listed the house for sale at $149,000, and the next month he dropped the price to $94,000 without telling me. Now I’m afraid the house will be sold from out from under me.

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation. Here are the issues that I see. When parties get divorced their assets are put in to two categories: marital and separate.  The "problem" here is that the house was purchased prior to the marriage and on the out set will appear to be separate property.  Now, that initial categorization can be changed when there is shown to be an intent for the home to be made a marital asset.  Now, you say that the mortgage is not not in your name but what about the deed? The deed is indicia of ownership.  And how long before you were married?  Were you engaged? I would seek legal help as soon as you can.  9 times out of 10 a purchaser  - their attorney or their bank - will require your signature on some document relinquishing any rights even if you are not on the deed or mortgage by the simple fact that you are married and to protect their client.   Good luck.


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