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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 10-14-2005, 09:48 AM
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My ex left me 3 years ago this coming Nov and I still have our house he says that he doesn't want to uproot the kids, and that we can stay in the house. I have been doing work on our house and am worried that some year he'll come and tell me he wants his half of the house. Is there a time period after he left that he can't touch the house or will I have to get his name off the deed first. If we don't actually go get a divorce and just stay separated for many years I don't want him to decide then that he wants some of the house!!!
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Old 10-14-2005, 11:35 AM
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If he is sincere in his position, get his name off the deed. This can be done with the assistance of a lawyer such as Jeff. I think to make this legal and binding, this tranansaction has to be part of a legal separation agreement.

Per say for the sum of a dollar, your husband will sign off the deed in exchange for what?

Right now you can't even sell the house without him signing nor can you even borrow against it to raise a morgage.

Net equalizations payments may come back to haunt you later on in life or at time of divorce without a legal separation agreement in place. In the meantime you have spent money maintaining the house and improoving its value. Spend the 600 to 800 dollars for the separation agreement. The cost of same could be shared. People change their minds over time. I would take action fast as equity in homes increases significantly from year to year.
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:33 PM
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Hi there,

My commonlaw husband and his ex separated in 1991, when she left in 1991 there was virtually no equity in the home for her. They only had the house for 3 years and there were more debts owing in the marriage then any equity. When she left she said she was not interested in the house and he took over the debts and paid them off. The house was originally owned by his parents and he was raised here. We have been together for almost 11 years over the years we have done alot of renovations to the house. (it's an old farm house built back sometime in the 1890's) I took some stock money that I had and renovated a portion of the house ( about 20,000.00). Anyways to make a very long story short. They have 2 children together that she is no longer receiving child support for because they have both moved out and are living together on there own. There daughter is almost 20 and working full time, there son is 17 and attending highschool still, we still help him by giving him money every week to help with his rent and groceries. Now that the child support has ended for her, we recieved a letter from her lawyer stating that she was filing for divorce (finally) and that she will be asking the courts to have the house sold, so that she can obtain her equity out of the house. Remember she left 14 years ago and never wanted anything then. Because her name is on the deed I think she can have the house sold if a court orders it. I woud talk to a lawyer and get things settled as soon as possible. Our lawyer is going to be relying on sections 2,4 and 15 ( I think) of the Real Properties Limitation Act. It states a 10 year limitation period, but You never no how things will end up,
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:45 PM
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I think they only look at the value of the house as of date of separation, but I'm not a lawyer.
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Old 10-15-2005, 09:44 AM
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Was or has there been a kegal separation agreement in place. If so, depending on the terms of same would dictate issues at times of divorce.

A prime example of how people change their minds over time. A handshake means very little in a court of law. I recomend anyone who separates to take an hour or two with a lawyer and proceed with a legal separation agreement. This can and will save you thousands at time of divorce. It is a horrid feeling when something comes back to haunt you.
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:28 PM
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As long as your ex’s name is on the title to the house, he has a right to half the equity in the house, even many years later. This really is not an aspect of family law, but property law - if a piece of property is in your name, you don’t just lose it because you’re not around for many years or because there was a family law issue involved.

If the matter went to court, you could argue that your ex is not entitled to half the equity for a number of reasons - say, you’ve put improvements in the house or your ex would be unjustly enriched by getting half. You’d probably have some success with this especially if your ex hadn’t been around for many years. But it would be an expensive legal case, you’d have to do all the work to prove why your ex isn’t entitled to half the equity, you may need to produce receipts for improvements you’ve made, and more.

Also, as logicalvelocity said, you could never sell the house without your ex’s permission. If you needed to move quickly, your ex may be able to pressure you into an unfair settlement, just so you can get your equity out of the house quickly.

It would be best if you had a separation agreement done about this, as the agreement would include provisions that release you from any liabilities to your ex. However, at the very least, get the home transferred in your name.
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:30 PM
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Logicalvelocity said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalvelocity
A handshake means very little in a court of law.
...very true - especially in family law!
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grace
I think they only look at the value of the house as of date of separation, but I'm not a lawyer.
This is one area where I find there’s a lot of confusion. Property division is normally calculated as of the date of separation in Ontario. But for assets that are jointly held by both spouses, both spouses will normally share equally in any post-separation increase or decrease of the assets.

The most common example of a jointly owned asset that changes in value after separation is a couple’s matrimonial home - usually both husband and wife are on title to the home. So, for instance, if one person is buying out the other 2 years after the date of separation, if the home is jointly held, it will be the market value of the home 2 years later that will be used, and not the market value at the date of separation (there may be some adjustments for post-separation contributions to the home).

In short: as long as a person’s name is on title to a home or anything else, that person shares in the change in value of the asset - even if it’s past the date of separation. It’s really a completely separate issue than dividing the property on separation.
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