Again, I have a quick question on dividing marital assets. We currently live in a home that I purchased for us last

Expert's Assistant chat
Customer: Greetings again,I have a quick question on dividing marital assets.We currently live in a home that I purchased for us last summer. My spouse confirmed the relationship was over verbally and by consulting a lawyer and confirmed the separation date in a messenger app, along with telling me how much child support and spousal support i will have to pay her.I responded with offering to buy her out of the current home immediately so she could move out, but she refused my offer and stated she wants to keep the house. I explained she would need to get a mortgage approved but doesn't have a job so that would be problematic. She still refused and said the lawyer can divide the assets.Shortly after telling me she was done with the relationship she proposed we slow things down, co-parent and review things (whether to try on relationship) in x amount of months time, which i refused unless she would agree to start marital therapy as I didn't want to be stuck in limbo any longer.A few months later and still in limbo, I decided to purchase another house (in my name only). However when i told my spouse that I have an accepted offer and about my plan to move out in Jan 2021 she suggested we try marital therapy (which hasn't happened yet).The equity between the two houses should be the same, so in theory could both assets could be split 50/50 with no-reason for a judge to force me to sell the house that I purchased in my name? as I will need a place to live with the kids if we do separate.During the attempted house purchase I asked her for permission (verbally and via email) for consent to use current marital funds and explained everything can be divided 50/50 that she can keep the house or sell it if she can't get a job/mortgage) but she didn't reply to give me consent.Additional question, if i were to file for sole emergency custody (my spouse is no-longer living here, due to moving out of the home for a month because of mental health issues) would it give me stronger grounds to keeping the new house i purchased in my name?I'm trying to figure out what is best to do, as it isn't me that wants to separate but I am in a real difficult situation and so far my spouse hasn't been amicable about anything.Thanks
Answered by Legal Ease in 5 mins 1 year ago
imglogo
Legal Ease
10+ years of experience
logo

166266 Satisfied customers

Expert in: Family Law, Legal, Estate Law, Real Estate Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Business Law, Consumer Protection Law, Bankruptcy Law, Traffic Law, Personal Injury Law.

logoBack
logologo
Legal Ease
logo
logo
166266 Satisfied customers
logo
10+ years of experience
imglogo
Legal Ease
10+ years of experience
logo

166266 Satisfied customers

Jessica

Jessica

Consultant

31,131 Satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Lawyer's, Assistant
116 Lawyers are online right now.
img

Legal Ease, Expert

Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** will be working on your question today and I am looking forward to our conversation.

Customer
Thank you
img

Legal Ease, Expert

Here's what I think you are misunderstanding. You don't share an asset with your spouse if the asset is in your name alone. You share in the value of the asset so you are not going to be faced with an order telling you that you need to give you a new home to your spouse or that you need to sell your new home. It's just about sharing in the value.

Do you see what I mean?
Customer
I'm trying to understand how it works :) i asked a lawyer pre-purchase whether it would be ok to purchase a house in my name whilst we are currently married and possible separation pending. They advised me not to purchase the house because if i used marital funds she could make a claim to the house and try and force me to sell it?
Customer
But my mortgage broker told me i wouldn't be able to buy a house if i wait til separated as after child support payments my servicing ability will be very poor, so i figured i would take the risk and hope she will be amicable
img

Legal Ease, Expert

The lawyer who told you not to buy the house with marital funds was correct. It is a risky approach and what you did you were not permitted to do because you dissipated family assets. But, while your spouse can make a claim to an interest in the house they don't get the house.

So the only time you might have to sell your own property would be if you can't pay your spouse what you're required to pay pursuant to the equalization payment you may be ordered to pay.

Customer
House 1 - joint owners - current mortgage of 414.5k (property value 530k at a guess) 530k - 414.5k = 116k equity.House 2 - in my name - current mortgage of 544k (property value / purchase price 680k) 680l - 544k = 136k equity.Third house (offshore) has just sold and i think there will be roughly 130k equity to be released. So if 20k from this house sale was used to reduce the mortgage on House 1 so that the equity between the two are the same, would that make it 50/50 and the the other 110k equity would then be split equally, is that how it would work?Is there any chance she could make me sell this house with the scenario above?
img

Legal Ease, Expert

But as I've stated repeatedly now she can't make you sell the house. The house is your house. She shares in the equity of it only.

So you don't look at one house by itself. You add up the value of all assets in your name taking 1/2 for jointly held assets. You subtract all debts from that total and you subtract the value of all gifts and inheritances. Then you subtract the value of any asset brought into the marriage. You will get a total. You do the same for your spouse. You compare the totals. The person with a higher total must pay an amount called the equalization payment to the spouse with the lower total.

Customer
None of us have any gifts or inheritance. I have a credit card in my name that has been shared usage, she even has hold of it now.She has a credit card. Probably minimal debt after that, and just the equity I have shared above. So hopefully there is enough for me to be able to pay the equalization payment and keep the house.Is there a way I can get my name of the mortgage of house 1? Would this require her getting a mortgage approved with the bank?Thanks
img

Legal Ease, Expert

She and the bank would both have to consent.

img

Legal Ease, Expert

Thank you for trusting us to help you here at JustAnswer. I am marking this post as complete. If you would like to ask me more questions please start a new post and if you do if you say “This is only for Debra” I will be sure to give your post top priority.

Customer
Please can you confirm what the process is for me to force a sale of the current home that is in joint ownership? Is it something that can be done now whilst still married and with no separation agreement in place?
img

Legal Ease, Expert

If there was a separation agreement in place you likely would need to do that.

Yes you can do it at any point in time and the process is to hire a lawyer to bring the application because it's in Superior Court and it's complicated.

Ask a lawyer and get your legal questions answered.
See all Legal Questions
img
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
img
logo 593 Verified lawyers, 10+ years of experience
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on Askalawyeroncall.com are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. Askalawyeroncall.com is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response as proposing specific action or addressing your specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances should be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on any information received from an Expert, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from independent, freelance Experts, who are not employed by Askalawyeroncall.com . The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credentials of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.
Explore law categories
Powered by JustAnswer