scooterbum

contract legalities

5 posts in this topic

Spouse and now  ex-husband share ownership of the house per the divorce decree, and I had to sign a prenup relinquishing any and all future interest in the real estate.  They divorced in 2013 and she has been living in the house. It is mortgage-free. Her ex-husband is now demanding she buy him out. They both signed a divorce decree stating that they would share ownership, and in the event of one of their deaths the other would gain sole ownership of the house. Is she legally required or bound by law to buy him out? 

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Why do you refer to people as "spouse", "ex-husband", "I", "They",  "she",  "him",  etc.  I can't actually figure out who you are and how you fit into the scenario.  Could you possibly rephrase the post so you refer to people by their actual position in the situation?

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I assume that you mean that your wife and her ex-husband still own property together, but I agree that your post is ambiguously worded.

 

Based on the little bit you've told us about the divorce decree, the answer to your question is no, but no one who hasn't read the entire document can truly comment with any degree of certainty.  Of course, why on Earth would she want to continue to be indefinitely bound to her ex-husband by joint ownership?  Also, in any joint ownership situation, any of the owners can file a lawsuit for something called partition to force the sale of the property, and I seriously doubt that your wife's divorce decree mandates that they continue to own the property jointly until one of them dies.

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We'll use fake names:  Bob owned real estate. Before he married Cheryl, Bob asked Cheryl to sign a prenuptial agreement relinquishing any right to it. Bob and Cheryl married in 1984. Bob and Cheryl did not live in that property because Bob had sold it and carried a note receivable. Bob and Cheryl comingled the income from that note receivable. In 1997, Bob repossessed the property, and Bob and Cheryl decided to gut the house, rebuild it, and move into it. In 1999, Bob filed a gift deed with the county nullifying the prenuptial agreement. Bob and Cheryl took out a home equity loan in both their names, and began receiving the county real estate tax bills in both their names. In 2002, they paid off the mortgage and it was lien free. In 2012, Bob and Cheryl decided to divorce. Both Bob and Cheryl signed the divorce decree stating that they would both continue to own the property, that Cheryl would continue to live in the property since Bob was moving to another state. After 29 years of marriage, Cheryl did not want to be homeless. Further in the divorce decree, both Bob and Cheryl agreed that should either of them remarry, they would have a prospective spouse sign a prenuptial agreement that they had no rights to the property Bob and Cheryl own. Cheryl has remarried, and Kevin moved into the house with Cheryl after he signed the prenup. Four years later, Bob still lives in another state, has not paid for any of the improvements or real estate taxes on the property that he co-owns with Cheryl. Bob is currently unemployed and has asked Cheryl to buy him out. Is Cheryl legally required to do this?

 

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15 hours ago, scooterbum said:

Bob owned real estate. Before he married Cheryl, Bob asked Cheryl to sign a prenuptial agreement relinquishing any right to it. Bob and Cheryl married in 1984. Bob and Cheryl did not live in that property because Bob had sold it and carried a note receivable.

 

I'm not sure any of this very old background is relevant to the situation.  I think it suffices to say that, as of 2012, when the divorce was filed, title to the home was in both Bob and Cheryl's names.  Right?

 

 

15 hours ago, scooterbum said:

Bob is currently unemployed and has asked Cheryl to buy him out. Is Cheryl legally required to do this?

 

In your original post, you wrote that Bob "is now demanding [that Cheryl] buy him out," but now you have written that he "has asked Cheryl to buy him out."  Big difference obviously.

 

In any event, nothing you've written in this follow up post changes what I told you in my prior response.  Your follow up post doesn't provide any new or additional information about the terms of the divorce decree, which is really what's important here.  Without having the pertinent language from the decree, we can't truly know what the parties obligations or rights are concerning the home.  However, it is likely that Bob can either seek to modify the decree or file a partition lawsuit against Cheryl.  The smart thing to do would probably be for Cheryl and Kevin to buy out Bob's interest or for Bob and Cheryl to agree to cooperate in the sale of the home.  If Bob does file a partition lawsuit and the court orders that the house be sold, it likely will bring a much lower price than a voluntary sale.

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