LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.

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LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.

(212) 370-1660

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Question #240

My mother passed away in 1999, and my father remarried about three years ago. We all live in NYC. My father has a Mitchell lama Co-op apartment that has had since 1986. It’s in his name as are all the bills. He put his wife’s name on the affidavit just in case something were to happen to him. I think you see where I am going with this. If they were to divorce, and I hope they do, would she have a claim to the apartment? They are both retired, and he makes slightly more than she does. If she had to, she would not be able to afford the expenses of that apartment on her own. He would be able to and was doing so before she comes into the picture. Please help . Thank you.

I do not understand precisely what you mean by saying, “his wife’s name is on the affidavit.” Is she registered with the co-op board as an owner of the co-op shares? Title to the co-op will depend on whose name is recorded as the owner. If she has been added as a co-owner of the apartment, then it depends on how title is held. It may be held as joint tenants, or in the entirety, in which case the survivor will get the entire ownership of the co-op, or it may be held as tenants in common, in which case she has a ½ ownership interest. Your father has ½ interest ownership interest, and when he passes away, his interest will be inherited either according to his Will or by the laws of intestacy.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

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