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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Hello, I am wondering the legalalities of divorcing my husband.

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Hello, I am wondering the legalalities of divorcing my husband. He is currently serving 4 years in Federal prison. We were married 1-1/2 yrs ago and I purchased a house for us to live in. He put very little toward the cost and upkeep of the house. He hid the fact that he was an alcoholic and wasted thousands of dollars on one addiction after another (gambling, drugs, alcohol, etc.). His last excursion before a pre-determined prison sentence was domestic violence, where he beat the crap out of me. I currently am getting his VA disability/pension that supplements my income and I am paying myself back and getting on my feet after what he took me for. I am fine while he is in jail but wonder what can happen if he gets out in perhaps 2 years? What could his legal rights to the house be?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am genuinely sorry that you are in this situation, and I am sorry that you were married to someone who was abusive.

To answer your question directly, if the home is titled under both names, then it is irrelevant if he is on premises or not, he still owns half of the property. That would not change if he is in prison or lives on he property. However if he does return, you are not legally required to allow him back onto the property. So if and when he is released, if you do not want him to live with you, change the locks and do not allow him onto the premises. If he is not on title, he could still have rights as an occupant to live there unless you bar him from entering. It may then be wiser to divorce since he would then no be able to claim that the home is a 'marital homestead' where he is entitled to enter.

Hope that helps.

Dimitry K., Esq. and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your quick reply. He is on the title. I had to put him on under Ohio law. I should have also mentioned he signed a paper that was notorized that stated he would not pursue rights of this property or any other property I own. I had that drawn up after an argument where he threatened taking half of the house, even though he has put nothing in it. I had thought of divorce on the grounds of abandonment, where I have been told he cannot contest that, as he is in prison for 4 years.


Thank you for your follow-up, Christina.

If he is on title, he owns the property same as you. You can indeed divorce him for abandonment, since it is true that he is physically not present with you while he is incarcerated. But until you divorce, he is technically entitled to enter the premises if you are not physically there to deny him entry. Once divorced then you can obtain an order for sole rights to the premises (although he would still be technically an owner based on the fact that he is on title).

Good luck.