What are my marital rights?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my marital rights?

My wife got a mortgage on a house before we got married. She also got a second
mortgage which we have just paid off after being married for 10 years. We have
shared a bank account since day 1. I have found out that she has a document her
ex husband signed that states he relinquished his rights to the house. If my wife
passes before me, is there any chance that I could loss my home?

Asked on April 20, 2018 under Family Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) She can simplify and streamline things while reinforcing that you get the home by creating a will leaving it to you.
2) If there is no will, her property--including her house--will pass by the rules for intestate succession, or who gets what if there is no will: that means you, if she does not have any children with or by someone other than you. (That is, if has no children, or only has children with you.)
If she does have children with or by someone else, you inherit a half-interest in the house, her children share the other half interest. In this case, if there are children who also inherit, if you and they cannot work out what to do with the whom, they could bring a legal action to force a sale of the home and that the profit from the sale be divided among you and them.
3) If there are any mortgages, HELOCs, or reverse mortgages on the home when she passes away, they would have to be paid off or the bank can foreclose on the home regardless of who inherits.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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