Placitas, NM asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio

Q: I have been occupying the house that my husband won in our divorce for almost 30 years and he never had deed switched

Both of our names are on the land contract. Very soon after our divorce, he skipped town, letting me and my son stay on the property. I paid house payments, insurance, and taxes. But the deed is still in the previous owner's name. Now almost 30 years later he's back to "take care of the deed" and insinuating that he intends to take possession. What legal leg do I have to stand on, if any? Can he kick me out of this house immediately, or do we have to go through a proceeding?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Nicholas P. Weiss
Nicholas P. Weiss
Answered
  • Cleveland Heights, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: It doesn't make sense that the title hasn't transferred. Have you contacted the seller on this? You may be able to negotiate a sale to you directly, since you were the sole payor.

Bruce Martin Broyles
Bruce Martin Broyles
Answered
  • Lancaster, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: At a minimum he has to file an eviction action. Based upon the length of time, I would contact your divorce attorney. As the house was awarded to him as part of a property division or equitable division of debt, he should have been responsible for the mortgage. I am certain that he will argue that paying the mortgage was "rent", but the Domestic Relations Court may be able to look at the equitable arguments and determine "fairness", any other Court will simply treat you as a tenant with no rights to occupy the property after your verbal month to month lease is cancelled.

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