Me and my wife are planning on divorcing. We don't have a legal seperating. The house/deed is under her name and now she gave me court papers (i was not propertly served) for child support. We still are legally married and living in our home. I pay more than half of the monthly expenses including mortgage yet she asks me for rent every month. She said that is her house and my share is just a contribution. I have proof of deposits that i have made. Furthermore she is threatening to rent one of the bedrooms in the house and threatening to change the locks to my house. Is this Legal?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You wife is on shaky grounds with her demands. She can file for child support while you are living there, but she is probably not going to succeed in getting any order of child support. If she does get an order of support, it will probably be for less than the expenses you are paying, in which case my advice to you would be to stop paying everything except for the court-ordered support. As for rent, again, she has no right to demand rent from you to live in the marital residence. You did not indicate when the house was purchased (during your marriage or not). Even though the house is deeded in her name, if it was acquired during the marriage, it is probably a "marital asset", meaning it is partially your property as well (as far as the divorce Court is concerned), regardless of how it is titled. She cannot kick you out and change the locks. If she does change the locks, you have every right to call the police or a locksmith and she will have no choice but to allow you re-entry. In order to exclude you from the house, she would have to obtain an order of protection requiring you to vacate, or an order of exclusive occupancy, granting her the right to live there without you. You should immediately consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.
Mr. Rosen practices matrimonial and family law in Great, Neck, NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. You are strongly advised to confer with an attorney in your own state to acquire more information suited to your particular circumstances.