Since the property is registered in both names, your husband will have a claim to a share of the property, unless you can prove that the money given to you by her parents was given to you only and not to him. Since the property is held in both names, the presumption is that the property belongs to both.
Concerning being forced to sell the property, since the children are small, and assuming you would be the resident parent, it is doubtful that the court would force you to sell the property before the children reach maturity. However, some resolution should be sought by taking out an additional mortgage or loan from someone, to pay your husband all or a portion of his interest in the property with a promissory note and interest on the balance owed, in return for his transferring his share of the property over to you.
Because you supported him while working on his Ph.D., you’ll have an interest in his degree and earning capacity, which has a monetary value and may perhaps be traded for part of his interest in the property. This and other matters are issues to be explored during the Divorce mediation, which you both should consider seriously.
This case seems ripe for mediation, and I strongly recommend that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting with you and your husband to discuss mediating this divorce. It will save you time, money, and much aggravation and be less traumatic for the children.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions