How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Lady Themis Your Own Question

Lady Themis
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7751
Experience:  Divorce, child custody, child support, etc.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Lady Themis is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Does a marriage engagement constitute a contract? My ex fiance

Resolved Question:

Does a marriage engagement constitute a contract? My ex fiance and I bought a house together. He broke up with me and I would like him to move out of our house. I have made all of the mortgage payments, but he says it is his house too. Do I have any grounds to make him move out?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.

When parties purchase property jointly, whether engaged or not, they both have an ownership interest in the property and rights to possession. The difficulty when the parties are not married is that the family courts have no jurisdiction over the division of that property. The civil court, however, does.
When parties wish to divided their interests in jointly owned property, they may file a partition action per their state's laws. In a partition action, the court essentially determines the parties' rights to the property, and typically orders the property sold and the proceeds divided equitably.
Alternately, if there is a contract between the parties, the court may be able to resolve the issue of a breach. An engagement can be considered a type of contract, but it must be clear to the court that it was the agreement of both parties that the property would be titled jointly in consideration of marriage. If that was the express agreement, it is possible that a court would consider the broken engagement a breach for which you are entitled to damages, including perhaps title and possession to the property.
This would be a difficult civil case to prevail on, and you most certainly should consult a local attorney if you are interested in pursuing something legally. Here is a link to local attorney directories.

I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7751
Experience: Divorce, child custody, child support, etc.
Lady Themis and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Why would it be a difficult case?

Expert:  Lady Themis replied 1 year ago.
First, in many states, there is a statute of frauds which requires agreements regarding interests in real property to be in writing. I don't know whether that is the case in North Carolina. If not, there is still the burden of proving any oral agreement regarding the engagement and the purchase of the property, which your fiance may deny.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Could you explain what a mediator would do if we tried that?

Expert:  Lady Themis replied 1 year ago.
A mediator helps you to resolve your dispute without litigating. The mediator is a neutral party who can help you come to an amicable resolution. Both parties would have to agree to mediate.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is a mediation legally binding, or can a party refuse to comply if they don't like the results?

Expert:  Lady Themis replied 1 year ago.
The parties can agree before the mediation whether or not the mediation would be binding.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
< Last | Next >
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney and Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    6424
    27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6336
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    5987
    I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5773
    JD, 15 years legal experience including family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BrianTMayer/2010-01-06_200119_BM.jpg Brandon M.'s Avatar

    Brandon M.

    Family Law Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3810
    Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2634
    Attorney