Question #107:MY HUSBAND AND I ARE SEPARATING AFTER 16 YEARS OF MARRIAGE. WE PURCHASED A HOME 11 YEARS AGO, BOTH NAMES ARE ON THE MORTGAGE. HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS AND I AM FOR ALL THE UTILITIES. I HAVE BEEN LOOKING INTO BUY A HOME FOR MYSELF SINCE HE DOES NOT WANT TO LEAVE THIS ONE. IF I PURCHASE PROPERTY WILL HE BE ENTITLED TO ANY PORTION OF IT. ALSO, IF I FILE A QUIT CLAIM DEED ON OUR JOINT HOME WILL I BE ENTITLED TO 1/2 THE EQUITY THAT IS IN IT. HE TOLD ME THAT HE WASN’T GIVING ME ANYTHING AND TO JUST GO!! THANK YOU KINDLY FOR YOUR RESPONSE.

You did not indicate which state you are located in, but in a community property state or an equitable distribution state such as New York, you would be entitled to approximately one-half the value of the house and your husband would not have a right to ask you to leave. If you purchased a house while you are still legally married, your husband will have an interest in such house.

You should wait until you have entered into a legal separation or filed a summons and complaint for divorce before you purchase any additional property.

I strongly suggest that you consider mediation to settle your separation and divorce, and if you are located in the New York City metropolitan area please call me add to 12-370-1660.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions