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50/50 on deed to a property with an ex, never married

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Latest post Tue, Feb 21 2017 12:54 PM by Drew. 7 replies.
  • Mon, Feb 20 2017 8:35 AM

    • hahalala81
      Consumer
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    • NH
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    50/50 on deed to a property with an ex, never married

    Hello I have a few questions that I have got mixed answers on, so I thought this would be a good place to get some ideas.  My ex boyfriend and I purchased a home in NH back in 2009.  We have since separated, I am currently living in the home with our child and he lives out of state with his girlfriend.  We have quite a bit of equity in the property, we bought it as a foreclosure and put alot of work into it ourselves.  I had an appraisal done recently, and subtracted roughly what we owe on the mortgage and it comes out to be roughly $110-120 in equity.  Now I want to sell the property all together and split the equity 50/50, but he wants to move back into the home. If that ended up being the case I should be bought out at 50% of the equity correct?

    Although, I do not want to be bought out and would like to sell the property outright, is there a way to force the sale of the home?  I am a victim of domestic violence with this man so there are MANY reasons I do not want him to live in this property....

    Also, he is claiming that since I never made the mortgage payments I am not entitled to half the equity....?  The reason behind this was shortly after purchasing the home I got pregnant and we BOTH agreed that I would be a stay at home mother and raise our child and take care of the home which I did for 4 years before we split up.  He never had any issue with me not paying the mortgage as I eventually got a part time job and contributed to the utilities and food etc. But of course now that we have split up he is claiming I do not have rights to my half of the equity.  We are 50/50 owners TIC on the deed to the property, but he refinanced shortly after the purchase and since I was a stay at home mother my name is not on the newer mortgage.

    He is just wanting to fight about any and everything in court, I cannot afford a lawyer at this point so any advice I could get would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  • Mon, Feb 20 2017 12:18 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Sat, Jan 1 2005
    • CA
    • Posts 6,363

    Re: 50/50 on deed to a property with an ex, never married

    If you two cannot agree on a split, then you have to ask the courts to decide the issue for you.

    For the amount involved here, small claims would not be an option. You would need an attorney, probably a real estate attorney.

    Courts usually decide these issues by ordering a partition sale. Unfortunately, a partition sale is akin to "a fire sale". The vultures will be out and you two won't be able to sell the property for anything close to what you think it is worth, even without considering your respective legal fees.

    I am not saying your interpretion of what the law says is incorrect. What I am saying is that enforcing your point of view likely is going to be costly if you truly want to sell the property and you cannot reach an agreement with him. Of course, it will also be costly for him to use the partition sale route. 

    What I am saying is that you two can agree to something that is less than a 50/50 split, but don't sign anything, including a quit claim deed, until you get whatever money you agree is your share. You don't necessarily have to agree to everything he is proposing. (Remember, if he had really wanted to go the partition sale route, he probably could have tried it shortly after you two broke up. He probably soon figured out it was not a good idea.)

    Therefore, you are not without your own negotiating power here. If you are not comfortable with negotiaitng this one yourself, then you might want to consider hiring an attorney as this is something most attorneys do on a regular basis. 

     

     

     

  • Mon, Feb 20 2017 2:44 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: 50/50 on deed to a property with an ex, never married

    unless there is something missing in your post, he is free to move back in tomorrow w or wo your consent ...



  • Mon, Feb 20 2017 7:57 PM In reply to

    Re: 50/50 on deed to a property with an ex, never married

    hahalala81:
    Now I want to sell the property all together and split the equity 50/50, but he wants to move back into the home. If that ended up being the case I should be bought out at 50% of the equity correct?

    Apparently in New Hampshire, when someone files a "partition action" requesting a court-ordered split of jointly-owned real estate, the court has wide latitude to divide up the equity in whatever manner it considers to be "fair and equitable."  The criteria the court is supposed to use are described in Section 547-C:29 (which is part of TITLE LVI: PROBATE COURTS AND DECEDENTS' ESTATES) of the New Hampshire Statutes.

    So no, you cannot count on getting half the equity if it does go to court.  Sorry.

    In many states it's a big issue that partition sales are required by statute to be conducted via auction or sheriff's sale, which means the property would go for a fire-sale price.  I didn't find such a requirement in the New Hampshire statute, but neither did I find anything saying the court CAN'T order an auction.

    And as with any lawsuit, there are court costs and lawyers' fees.

  • Tue, Feb 21 2017 6:13 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
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    Re: 50/50 on deed to a property with an ex, never married

    I don't see where he cannot move back in today?

    You might get a judge who sees it in context of person in the unit is responsible for all bills .

    You might have a very weak point as to 50 % of net equity unless you can prove you paid in 50% .....

    You didn't address child support...you might be smart to be sure that is covered by an applicable court order.  

     



  • Tue, Feb 21 2017 12:18 PM In reply to

    Re: 50/50 on deed to a property with an ex, never married

    BTW, Drew is right, it's important to educate yourself about child support if you haven't already done so.

    The good news is you don't need to hire a lawyer, the DHHS Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) will handle everything if you apply for their services.  They only charge $25 a year, which they deduct from the child support they collect for you.  The state has a formula to calculate the amount of child support (link provided on DCSS's webpage), so depending on how much you know about your ex-boyfriend's income you should be able to figure out approximately how much you can expect he will be ordered to pay every month.  Caution: read everything carefully;  for one thing the "net income" they talk about is the combined net income of both parents.

  • Tue, Feb 21 2017 12:32 PM In reply to

    Re: 50/50 on deed to a property with an ex, never married

    hahalala81:
    Now I want to sell the property all together and split the equity 50/50, but he wants to move back into the home. If that ended up being the case I should be bought out at 50% of the equity correct?

    That would, indeed, be a reasonable way to do it.

     

    hahalala81:
    is there a way to force the sale of the home?

    Yes.  It's called a "partition" lawsuit, but keep in mind that a sale resulting from a partition lawsuit typically will generate a far lower sale price than a voluntary sale.

     

    hahalala81:
    he is claiming that since I never made the mortgage payments I am not entitled to half the equity.

    In the absence of a written agreement to that effect, a court almost certainly would disagree.

  • Tue, Feb 21 2017 12:54 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: 50/50 on deed to a property with an ex, never married

    OP just where is it written that each has 50% share ?  Court might take into consideration the contributions of each to principal...or it might just split it ....BTW an internal auction might be more productive ..just be darn sure both sides are held to outcome of high bid.  



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