Marital Property Equity

We have lived in our home for over 20 years. At first, my name was only on Deed and not mortgage, yet I made all mortgage payments from day 1. We did get my name added to mortgage and I continue to make all payments. My husband has decided to move out, something he has attempted many times in past, so no big surprise. He stated that if having an asset like a home prevents him from moving into this Age/Income level Sr apartment he WOULD sell the house. After he promised I could continue living here as I have pets and this is the ONLY asset I have. He has an inheritance of a couple hundred thousand he will get soon that I can’t touch. IF I stay in home and make all the necessary repairs, do I get to DEDUCT the cost of the repairs from HIS portion of the equity ? I am going to FIGHT being forces to sell. He seems to think we will remain “friend” and I continue to help him do a lot FOR him but it WILL get ugly if I have to sell

The marital residence doesn’t have to be sold. It, along with the mortgage, can be distributed to one spouse as that spouse’s sole and separate property. This either needs to be mutually agreed upon by both parties or ordered by the judge at a trial.

In your case, he cannot sell the house without your consent since the home is deeded jointly. To keep the house, you would need to refinance the mortgage into a loan in your sole name.

You would not be entitled to deduct the cost of repairs from his half of the equity. If you keep the house, the repairs would be your responsibility because you would be keeping the asset and all the equity along with it.

If you sell the house, then repairs can be paid for equally. Or, if for instance he pays for all the repairs in advance, then he would be entitled to a reimbursement “off the top” from the sales proceeds for the cost of the repairs. Because the reimbursement would be “off the top” and prior to any division of the net sales proceeds, you’re both equally responsible and he’s only getting a 50% reimbursement.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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