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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38367
Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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In 2009 My husband and I bought an acre of land in Polk

Customer Question

in 2009 My husband and I bought an acre of land in Polk county. In 2010, we put up a fence so my sons dog doesnt run loose. In 2015 my husband moved out and sold his half of the land to a friend of his. According to my now ex husband he stepped off the property, from what the land plots state was ours. The new owner had no problem with the fence being up on the 2 ft strip of land at the time he purchased it on quit claim "as is". Now he cut the fence and is not wanting to replace it. I said if he had a problem with the fence he should have said something to the owner prior to buying the property. Does he have legal rights to cut the fence and not replace it? my son is mentally disabled and his dog is is companion. We are afraid the dog will get out and get hurt, the dog already has arthritis really bad in both back legs. Isnt there a law protecting the disabled?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.

If you are joint owners here, each had undivided 50% share.Walking it off doesn't work here.The only way to divide it here for you is to file a suit to partition the entire property/The court can then divide it, the orders serve as the deed where each of you gets a true 50% of the property.This may involve a court ordered survey.You will need a local lawyer there in Livingston, you may want to start at title company to resolve it.Neither one of you has a divided interest. A quitclaim can only convey an undivided interest here which is what your ex owned.You need the title lawyer to file for partition here in Texas and have it divided.Once that is done you are free to fence your share of the property.

This is going to be a problem that you need to address here.You have a title problem here, both of you own undivided 50%, to be able to legally fence this the court has to award you a surveyed 50% share by court order, and the other party gets 50%.Both parties have to share the legal fees and survey.Judge will force the other party here to pay their 50% share of fees here.I am a Texas lawyer, I was a title lawyer in Livingston many years ago and am familiar with the county and your situation.

I am sorry if this is a surprise but you have a bigger problem here, a partition is necessary.Thanks again let me know if you have more follow up.

Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

Reference

http://www.lonestarlandlaw.com/Partitions-of-Texas.html

The quit claim did not divide the property legally, it just conveyed spouses undivided 50% to the other party.This can be corrected but nobody has specific rights until it is properly surveyed and divided by a court here in Polk County ,Texas.These are heard in the District Court there in Livingston.

Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

They can fix this here by partition

Polk County Abstract Inc.

Title Company

Address: 802 N Washington Ave, Livingston, TX 77351

Phone:(###) ###-####/p>

Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

Another choice

Law Office of R. Malcolm Jones

    415 N Washington

    Livingston, TX 77351

    (###) ###-####/p>(###) ###-####(fax)
            Customer: replied 7 months ago.
            Both properties are already listed with the land office. Im showing ownership of my 1/2 acre with house and garage,with a 911 address. The other 1/2 acre that my ex husband sold to his friends, is listed in their name with the title showing the shop on it with their own 911 address. But my main concern is the fence that is in question that is on the new neighbors side is keeping my disabled sons dog enclosed. without that fence the dog can wander away. Racoons and skunks can wander into his house through the doggy door. Doesnt he have any rights in this. also the property is in life trust or life estate to him, in his name, but where I may sell it if we need to move.
            Customer: replied 7 months ago.
            Maybe its called a life trust deed.
            Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

            So was there a survey here that give you sole interest with meets and bounds description from a surveyor, or did you just "walk it off " so to speak and he did a quit claim.If you have a deeded interest here you can fence it on the property line.

            You may want to contact the either the title company or local lawyer I gave you to see what it is you own.If he is the remainderman of your half, with you having half you may have title issues since a quitclaim conveyed anything he owned his half and your remainderman half. Honestly you need the peace of mind here that the title company verifies you still own a divided half interest in your name.It sure isn't clear that you do.I am not trying to scare you but there may well be title issues especially if you want to sell yours someday.Any problems are easier to fix now to get it ready to sell.

            When he sold this not as part of a divorce you lack having a judge review it no telling whether the deed was valid here and what it conveyed.It would be money well spent to see where you are title wise and what problems you are facing.Again if it turns out you have clear title with a property line you can fence it and sue him here in small claims for the cost of a fence.

            Thanks for the chance to help you today.

            Customer: replied 7 months ago.
            Problem with that is I am unemployeed and have been unable to find a job since november, plus I am going to school. so hopefully by October I will have a new employment and and can get the the title company involved. So there isnt any recourse for my disabled son? such as if you take the fence down it must be moved and put back up the same day?
            Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

            Yes if you have a deeded title here--it has boundaries in the property description, then you are free to fence it , sell it etc.If this is jointly owned they each has an undivided interest.If this is your half acre then you have right to fence it and he cannot cut it.You can sue here in small claims yourself for the cost to repair it.

            You might also want to report this to the police as well to see if they will help you.I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.

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