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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 12-22-2009, 12:09 AM
bunkie bunkie is offline
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Default Property Divison, Common Law & Joint Tentant on Mortgage...help!

Hi there

I bought a house with my partner May 2008. Things started to unravel and like I fool, and I'm in the financial industry, I couldn't get him to sign a cohabitation agreement. He'd say he would and then refuse as we were having relationship issues. Basically I sold my property to buy this one, put down a $125,000 down payment and we're separating. I'm scared he's going to try to take half the money as he's only racked up debts in his name and I've continued to save. We were doomed from the get go and I should have known better. Now I have a child with him and he's already playing games with visitation for our 3mos old daughter.

can someone please advise how or where I find out about property ownership and rights? Is he entitled to 50% of the money I put down? I'm hoping if things went to court that he'd not as the funds are clearly showing coming from the sale of my solely owned property....but I'm scared now as we're "joint tenants" and this money hungry credit ridden person is going to try to what he can. Even at the expense of his daughter's future living arrangements as I'd have to move to a much worse area if I have another $60k in mortgage to afford!!!

I'd appreciate any help, suggestions to get this straightened out and know my rights. I've already asked him to sign a quit claim...he won't respond as he's too angry now.

Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:40 AM
Mess Mess is offline
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It matters a little bit how long you were together. In a very short relationship the courts have recognized that it's unfair to automaticly award half the matrimonial home if one party paid for it.

I don't believe there is a clear rule for this though, and you would have to make your arguments and hope for the best.

You had a child while living together, that makes you automaticly in a common law relationship regardless of how long you were together.

Your ex may be "playing games" with custody but he does have rights to access and the child has rights to access with the father. You should come to terms with this and make a fair offer for custody and access, based on your circumstances. Turning this into a huge fight will cost you thousands more.

My ex ran up huge debt while we were together and I'm still, after 2 1/2 years, dealing with negotiations on how much I have to take on. I'm trying to argue ways to minimize that. Because we were married I am technically responsible for half of it. You were common law, you are not responsible for debt in his name, so count your blessings. We both paid the price for not really knowing our spouses very well, and taking the consequences of that. It's going to cost you something. Accept that, try to work efficiently to minimize the legal costs that run up on top of that, bite your tongue and accept that you will lose some money on the house and you may save tens of thousands in the long run.
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:27 PM
bunkie bunkie is offline
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Thank you Mess! Yes we haven't cohabitated consecutively past 4mos at a time. The child is 3mos and I'm offering plenty visitation that he's not accepting or replying to because he's asking for overnights and hours which the 3mos old is not ready for at this time. I've been told it's best that they gradually work up as she gets older and bonds more and most importantly as they get to know eachother which they don't right now unfortunately.

Thank you for your information though! I am going to cross my fingers and hope that prior communications from him, the clear transfer of funds from my sole owned home etc and the fact that the children and I will be forced to move should he take half this money that he's morally & ethically not entitled to.

Wish us luck!
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