Right now, my wife and I are still married, but my wife doesn’t want to be with me. We bought a house while we were married in New York State. All the assets, including the house, are in my name. Is it possible to sell my house without splitting the money of the house even though the deed is in my name? Would it also matter if there are no divorce papers yet? I am the one who pays all the bills for the house and maintains it; will my wife still get 1/2? If I can prove this, will this stand up in court? Are there any other legal issues regarding the house that I should be aware of? Thank you for all your help. I appreciate all the information you can provide.
If the house was purchased with monies acquired /earned during the marriage, the house is marital property and subject to equitable distribution. Thus, although the house is in your name, and you could sell the house now without your wife’s consent, in the event of a divorce, the court would make you give her half of the net proceeds of the sale. You are paying the bills presumably with monies earned during the marriage, which funds themselves are marital property.
There are several additional legal issues you should be aware of, including capital gains, Section 1031 Exchanges, etc. There are also many legal concerns you should be addressing in the divorce process other than relating to the house, such as spousal support, child custody- support, if applicable, division of marital assets, etc. Divorce is too important a process to leave to self-help. You need experienced legal counsel to make sure your decisions will not come back to haunt you.
If you are located in the NYC metro area, give me a call to discuss mediating your divorce. It will be cheaper, faster, and less traumatic than an adversarial divorce, and you may be able to work out a deal with your wife to save the house.
Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions