I live in Taunton, Massachusetts and have been married for five years. I moved into my wife’s home because it was large enough to house both her family and my own. The house is been in her name for the last 20 years, but nothing was done about putting me on the title or deed to the property. We are now about to buy a new home, and use the proceeds from selling her home as the down payment since her credit score is better than mine, she will be the primary signer on the mortgage and I will be the cosigner, so we can get the house. I’m not interested in getting any of the equity that she has accrued over the years, but I do want to move forward 50/50 in purchasing the new home. I just want to move forward after her interest in the equity has been established. She feels that my name being on the paperwork will put hers in jeopardy. Is there any legal way to move forward put in writing that we are moving forward 50/50, but excluding the equity that she had before we purchase this house? What are my rights in this situation? Do I need to be on the deed? Do I need to be on the mortgage?
As far as dealing with the equity issue, you may draft a antenuptial agreement, which is like a prenuptial agreement that is signed after you’re married. These are extremely difficult to write, and have them still be legally binding. I would certainly advise you to get the assistance of an experience probate attorney to handle this matter. But in antenuptial agreement which addresses her share of the home, more importantly so her interest in the equity that is used to purchase the home can be established in antenuptial agreement. This way if you ever get divorced the antenuptial agreement will be able to dictate the way the house is sold and who gets what portions. If you do not do anything, and purchase the home within the marriage without having any of this paperwork established, then the house will be 50/50. Massachusetts is a state where any property purchased during the marriage is owned 50/50, regardless of who puts what money down and who pays what amount towards the mortgage. You may attempt to use a simple contract to remedy the situation, but the right and legal method of handling a situation such as this would be through using what is called in antenuptial agreement.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
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