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nptgal

Dividing Real Estate Properties owned Jointly

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My wife and I have five properties together.  We rent 40 apartments.  My wife has had zero involvement in managing the properties and that has been my job for the 15 year marriage. We are both on the deed.  She is a full-time school teacher.  Am I entitled to more than 50% interest if this has been my job? I have made improvements to the properties and I have been the sole person involved with the properties.   My wife wants me to liquidate all properties and split the profits, split her pension and retirement.  I will then have no income.  This was my retirement plan.  I would love to know if I have any options.

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Of course you have options.  At least, the two of you could divide the equity in the properties without selling them all.

 

It sounds as if this could involve some complex issuess that are not going to be subject to resolution by commentators on a legal discussion board.  You should consult local domestic relations counsel.

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You always have options.

 

I'm no expert on New York law but I believe New York is a so-called equitable distribution state, which means you and your wife are each entitled to an equitable (i.e., fair) share of the total of all marital assets.  As a general rule, "equitable" is held to mean a 50/50 split unless there are circumstances that suggest such an even split would be unfair to either of you.  There are no such circumstances apparent in your message.  Some additional facts that could be relevant:

 

When and how were the properties acquired?

Are the properties mortgaged?  If so, what are the terms of the mortgage(s)?

What was the source of the money used to improve the properties, and what was the nature of the improvements?

Are there other assets whose value could offset the value of the properties in question?

 

Your attorney can go over the responses to these and other relevant questions to help you determine the best course among available options.  Note that you have described to us what your wife wants to do, but not what you want to do.  Do you have an alternative proposal?  Note also that liquidating all or some of the properties will not leave you without an income, since presumably you can use your share of the proceeds to reinvest in other properties and manage them on your own as before.

 

I strongly suggest you consult with a local family law attorney, if you have not done so already.  Good luck!

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1 hour ago, nptgal said:

My one question is based on our roles in the marriage, could i be entitled to a higher percentage of the properties?

 

Sitting here and not knowing any more than you have told us, the answer is maybe but probably not.  The Courts will generally presume the wife has contributed "non-monetary" value to the union that curiously balances the "equitable distribution" to "equal distribution"  That is not universally true but most attorneys who have handled divorce cases will admit it is usually true.  

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As an initial matter, given the extent of your real estate holdings, you need to be represented by counsel and should not be seeking input from anonymous strangers on the internet.

 

 

20 hours ago, nptgal said:

Am I entitled to more than 50% interest if this has been my job?

 

Based on that fact alone (which seems to be all you want us to consider), no.

 

 

20 hours ago, nptgal said:

I would love to know if I have any options.

 

Of course you do.  Did you really think the answer might be otherwise?

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