My boyfriend and I purchased a home together and then we got married. A few years later things went south and he signed a quit claim deed and removed his name from the title. We never got divorced. Does he have rights to the home since he removed his name from the deed? If so. how do I protect my pre-marital interest? Also can he move back into the home if he wants. And if he does is there any legal way to get him removed?
Marital Property is property “acquired” during the marriage regardless of title.
So, even though he signed a QuitClaim taking his name off of title, because you paid for this house during the marriage (so you used marital funds) the house is “marital property.” So, if he has a good lawyer, he will know how to properly make a claim for house equity. This is not easy at all and I’ve never seen an unrepresented litigant do it correctly.
Since you are still married, he is still passively “collecting” equity in the house as you pay down the mortgage and as the real estate market raises the house value (equity = fair market value less mortgages owed). If you want to stop him from accruing equity in the house you must either (1) get him to sign a Separation Agreement that waives his interest in the house, or (2) get divorced from him and then either he gets something or all property falls by title.
PRE-MARITAL INTEREST: Also, since you bought the house prior to marriage there is definitely some pre-marital interest and equity in the house. This amount needs to be valued or quantified so that it is not divided by the divorce Court. if you and your ex put the same amount of money into the house before marriage then this is not a problem. But that almost never happens. In many marriages, someone already owned the house prior to marriage or one spouse uses an inheritance, gift, or proceeds from the sale of home owned solely before marriage and then contributes it to the purchase of the marital home. Mulinazzi Law Office attorneys can help you calculate the amount of pre-marital equity you deserve so you get 100% of that portion.
ALL PROPERTY ACQUIRED DURING MARRIAGE IS MARITAL. With very few exceptions, all property you acquire during marriage is”marital property” regardless of title. So the analysis above holds true for any property you own such as cars, 401ks, pensions, savings accounts, etc. So please keep that in mind if you are staying married to him because the longer you stay married the more marital property you collect. This is a great thing in a happy marriage but it is awful if one of you wants to get out and waits longer and longer to move on.
Also, God forbid you pass away while you are married he can elect to take 1/3 of all your assets regardless of what your Will says. So, you really should speak with an experienced domestic attorney. The divorce attorneys are Mulinazzi Law Office are well versed in these situations and we can help you protect your share and get you your fair share of marital property as well. We also trained and successful mediators and collaborative lawyers who can help you and your spouse come to an agreement outside of Court.
Can he enter the home? No. He cannot force his way back into the house because he is not a title owner. But once he is back in, it will be VERY hard for you to remove him because you are married and you cannot evict your spouse. I know this seems a little confusing or odd but it is a matter of public policy so that dependente spouses have a place to live. This nuance of the law can be explained during a consultation with one of the experienced lawyers at MLO/Mulinazzi Law Office (www.mulinazzi.com). Our consultations are paid however we meet with our clients for 80-90 minutes while only charging for 60 minutes so that we can ensure you get all the information you need to make smart decisions going forward. This will save you money and headache.