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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20012
Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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been with this woman for 10 years increased the value of ...

Resolved Question:

been with this woman for 10 years increased the value of the last house by 50,000 thru inprovements and we bought a new house for considerably more now i''m leaving we''ve been together for ten years and i''ve paid the mortage with cash all those years whats my recourse?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 8 years ago.
1) What state is the home in?

2) What paper trail if any do you have about the improvements?

3) Are you co-owner on the new home? Are you on the deed?

4) Did you co-own this new home for the entire ten years?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to LawNinvest's Post: mass
none paid cash
not on deed
ten years total both houses
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, since Massachusetts does not recognize common law marriages, you will be unable to assert rights as a common law spouse.

By paying cash and not keeping records of your contributions to the improvements or the mortgage for the last ten years you will have a tough time proving your contributions. The best thing to do would have an attorney issue a demand letter for her to reimburse you your contributions and put her on notice that failure to comply will result in a lawsuit. Hopefully this will scare her into complying. Now, if she is not in agreement, then your recourse would be to sue, but in a lawsuit it will be your burden to establish your contributions and to show these were not gifts, so if you have a paper trail of your cash withdrawals (consistent each month for the same amount), then that could help. Otherwise, it would be upto her to admit to your contributions. In the alternative it would also be a good idea to see if she will enter into binding arbitration to negotiate a settlement with you. At the most you can ask for reimbursement of your cash contributions. Since your name is XXXXX XXXXX the deed, it would be hard for you to ask for a share of the equity as she is considered the sole owner.

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