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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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I am going thru a divorce and we are both fighting for the

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I am going thru a divorce and we are both fighting for the house.
A unique situation where we both run our businesses out of it.
His has a landscape company and mine an environmental portrait business.

We both have strong reasons for needed the property and feel each is more needed of it but he makes about 4 times the amount of money that i do.
He's using that as a reason that he should be the one who stays.
My business will fall apart and I'll have to start all over at 55yrs old.
I have no other skills.
I can support the property by myself with some support from him. we also have a rental income and a well/solar so it's very affordable.
He is stating that i cannot keep up with the maintenance on the place and it will go down hill. We are coming to a temp. use and possession hearing and he has purposely let the landscaping go to say that I'm not capable. (it was always his responsibility and we are still co owners.
My questions are: how much weight does the temporary ruling play on the final determination?
Does he have a valid point or is the fact he makes more money a reason why he should let me stay?
You see, i won't be able to get a loan nor replant my business. He is much more capable of starting over than i am.
what are your thoughts?

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

To answer your questions directly, a temporary ruling plays a minimal role on the final determination. While typically the ruling is considered advisory, it is not binding which means that if either party is able to find additional information that would tilt the facts in their direction even after a temporary ruling, the courts are free to change their minds and subsequently reverse the ruling.

His point that he makes more money is somewhat irrelevant--since this is California where assets are communal in nature, the courts will consider his income as marital anyway. What it can play toward is the concept of 'utility', or rather the efficiency of the premises--if one party can show that they are are more capable or able to utilize the property, then the courts do tend to favor them in their evaluation.

The one factor that you may not have considered is the special utility of the premises--that is, arguing to the courts that while your potential business is inherently tied to the property and his isn't, you would have a harder hardship should you end up losing the property.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you!

do you think that the temporary maintenance issues are a problem for me?

I have been living in the house while he comes and goes for his business but he is putting the weight on me for letting it go even though it was always his responsibility.

He claims that because he isn't living in the house his business and

the maintenance has suffered.

What can i reply to that?

Thank you for your follow-up, Dawn. You are most welcome!

The maintenance is technically an issue for you both, since neither of you are adequately maintaining the premises. If you can provide evidence from past payments that the obligation is his rather than yours, it becomes his issue more than yours. The fact that he does not reside there is a bogus argument--since he owns the property he must maintain it regardless of whether or not he is physically present or not. If you both did not split the bills when he moved out, his legal obligations remain as before, so his claim to you is simply to bully you into worrying over issues that are not directly related to your ownership rights.

Good luck.

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