Lancaster, PA asked in Divorce for Pennsylvania

Q: My in laws own the house do I have any claim on it after living there for 5 years?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: With such little information, we must fill in many gaps. We assume a divorce action with the asker a spouse residing with the other spouse in the subject home. We are told that "in-laws" own the home and we are not told anything about whether the spouses paid anything toward the purchase of the home and whether this asker had any ownership interest in this home.

Assuming only that the asker resided in the subject home, the asker is not entitled to get anything upon leaving that home whether in divorce or not. In the U.S., there is no such thing as residential equity which means that we do not earn a kickback for having resided someplace. We use it and then we lose it.

Hence, this asker takes zero upon departure because this asker had no ownership interest in the subject home.

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