Here is an example. John and Mary are living separately but not legally separated or divorced. John signed a lease to an apartment and moved into it January. In February Mary and John patched their differences and Mary decided to move into the leased apartment with John. In April John died of an accident. Can Mary legally stay in the leased apartment since they are still considered married at the time of death ? If so is she bound by the lease agreement? What other complications can this bring?
Family Law Attorney
On the facts you state, there are no complications.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
This is more of a landlord tenant issue. Who has a right to tenancy pursuant to the lease.
Before you become concerned, I would have Mary explain the situation to the landlord, or if Mary continues to pay rent, then there is not likely to be a problem. The landlord probably just wants his or her rent. However, if the lease is signed by John, and the agreement pursuant to the lease says that only John will live in the residence, there could be a problem. The issue has nothing to do with whether or not they are married or separated, it is what was the contractual agreement, i.e. the lease. The lease is an independent contract between the landlord and the tenant, and it has nothing to do with the marriage.
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Family Law Attorney
If she did not sign, the lease is over and she is free to move or be evicted, she needs to talk to the landlord
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