Q: Are verbal agreements for home ownership legally binding in NC?
In exchange for a base salary and no raise for 20 years my spouse and his parents had an agreement that he would one day own our home. My spouse had been the only resident since it was built until we got married approx 8 yrs ago and now we reside together. His parents refuse to sign over the deed to us. Do we have any legal rights? My spouse has now been in this house 21 years.
Generally, under North Carolina's "Statute of Frauds", agreements to transfer real property have to be in writing and signed; however, there are sometimes exceptions to the Statute of Frauds. For example, when someone relies on a promise to their detriment, they might be able to prove the existence of a contract, notwithstanding the Statute of Frauds, through equitable estoppel principles.
This will be a complicated analysis, though, and I recommend against relying on opinions you might find over the internet here on Justia. Instead, you need to engage a lawyer who specializes in civil disputes dealing with contracts and real property. Such a lawyer will be able to explore all the details with you, give a solid analysis, and help you chart a course to recovery. Best of luck!
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.