Divorce Solutions

Question #113

Married 1971,children now 24,28.I started divorce 1993, husband unstable, Children and self left the house for safety in 1994, Trial by jury in 1996 contested by my husband. I lost. So I am married to someone who would hurt me if he could find me. I have been in hiding since Trial. Children are now grown, on their own. My husband bought another house in upstate NY about three years ago. He had been living in our house that we bought in 1976, which is now paid for up until this summer, while he has been visiting the other house on weekends. He now lives upstate and plans on renting our house. Questions: does he have the right to rent without my permission? I was in a bad accident in March of 2003. I’ve had seven operations since; the last was a spinal fusion leaving me out of work. I do collect social security disability. I haven’t asked him for any support or help of any kind. However, if he is not going to live in the house, I might. Should I get a restraining order to prevent him from renting? Should I break into my house (he changed the locks in 1996) and change the locks myself and start living there? I need to know what to do because once someone is in the house, it will be impossible. Help me, please.

To properly answer your question, I must know whether you are named on the deeds as a joint tenant or tenant in common with your husband. If you are named on the deeds, you are an owner of the property and, as such, have a right to determine whether the property shall be rented are not. Because you have not entered into a legal separation agreement or divorce, you are still entitled to approximately one-half of all of the assets acquired by your husband during your marriage, including this new house upstate. However, as long as you have not been legally separated or divorced, it is the ownership of the property as reflected in the deeds which will determine the rights of the named owners to rent or dispose of the property as they see fit.

If you’re located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to make an appointment to discuss the matter and greater length.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solution