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Question #157:
I live in New York. My boyfriend is married but separated and has a 9 year old Daughter from his marriage. He either got married in Boston, MA or in Long Island, New York, I'm not positive. He has been separated for about 5 years now. He has been living with me for the past 9 months unemployed, therefore he did not contribute to any bills. He recently started working and we are thinking about buying a 2 family home together. He has no savings so I'm using my savings for a down-payment, closing costs, fees, etc but the house will be purchased with both of our names and credit. I am afraid that even though he is looking into getting a divorce we can close on the home before his divorce goes through. If this happens, Will his wife (and his Daughter) be entitled to any part of this home, God forbid he dies prior to the divorce, or even if he does not die, if God forbids his wife finds out he purchased a home with me during their divorce proceedings and decides to get half upon the divorce. He has not paid child support for the past few months since he did not work for 9 months. He is looking to get divorced, pay child support and get joint custody for his child. Should I wait until the divorce is final? If so then we may pass on a good deal we found on a home. When we do purchase this home. How do you suggest we purchase it since we are not married and have no kids together?

Please Help!
Until your boyfriend has a Judgment of Divorce, signed by the court and filed with the county clerk's office, he is still legally married, and any property acquired during the course of his marriage with funds earned during the marriage are considered marital property. Therefore, if he were to acquire an interest in this property you are talking about as a tenant in common with you, that property would be subject to a marital claim by his wife.

The best thing to do is for you to do is acquire the property in your name and if you need the money from your boyfriend to purchase the property, borrow the money from him and give him a promissory note. You can also have a side agreement with your boyfriend, stating that upon his official divorce, he can convert the amount owing to him in the promissory note into an interest in the property.

If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length and to prepare the documentation.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esquire/ Divorce Solutions
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