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Can My Husband Sell Our Condo?

My husband and I purchased a condo before we got married in 2001 and it was placed in his name only. We got married later that year. Our marriage has been rocky for a while and seems to be getting worse. I found out my husband is trying to sell it and not give me any of the funds acquired. Can he do this?  Search homes for sale in Flying Horse, Colorado Spring, CO here:  www.rehava.com

What are my legal rights?

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided equitably upon divorce – or fairly.

What is Marital Property?

“Marital property” is defined as the assets and debts acquired or earned during the course of the marriage.  Either individually or jointly, including real property, personal property, retirement accounts and bank accounts.  Including; mortgages, loans, revolving debt, and the like”, said Jeralyn Lawrence, a family law attorney with Lawrence Law in Watchung.

She said in New Jersey, property titled in the name of one spouse rather than both spouses is not enough to exclude that property from the proverbial “marital pot.”  By virtue of the fact that you and your husband purchased the residence together in contemplation of marriage, you have both acquired an interest in the marital residence in the form of equity.

What is the Source of Funding?

It’s also important to know the source of funding at the time you and your husband purchased the marital residence.  Is your name is on any mortgage?  In the event you contributed toward the purchase of the marital residence or named on the mortgage, these facts only further embolden your claim to the equity in the home.

In New Jersey, Courts recognize both financial and non-financial contributions to the upkeep of the home. This information is used when determining both party’s interest, without placing significant weight on the names in which the deed is recorded, or mortgage is held.

Were Improvements Made to the Property?

Relevant factors considered by the court are contributions to the utilities to maintain the home. Also, whether improvements were made to the home utilizing marital income.  And whether either you or your spouse invested physical labor into the upkeep of the home.  They will ask what other marital efforts, if any, caused an increase in the value of the home.  If you did contribute to these efforts in some capacity, personally or financially, you have grounds to claim a portion of the equity in the residence.

A court also has the power to restrain him from listing the sale of the home without your participation and consent.

Because the specifics of your case matter here, you should speak to an experienced family law attorney who can review all the details.

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