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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55444
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Under Minnesota Real Estate Statute, Is a seller required by

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Under Minnesota Real Estate Statute, Is a seller required by law to have his/her new spouse sign the purchase agreement and closing documents when they have never lived in or own any part of the residence? Are there any exceptions to this law? I remarried sometime after my first spouse and I divorced. I currently have clear title to this residence supported in writing by a divorce decree and quit claim deed. However, my realtor is insisting as a matter of law that my new wife must sign the purchase agreement and closing documents. I question this as a misinterpretation of the intent of statute 507.04 Subdivision d cited by my realtor. I truly believe the law was intended to protect spouses or former spouses who actually have or had an interest in the property. Please advise. This is time sensitive. Thank you.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. Your realtor is not correct on this. This is not a homestead and this is your sole and separate property because it was owned by you prior to your marriage to your new wife. Section 507.04 is not applicable as you suspected. This is so typical of a realtor...they simply cite these statutes indiscriminately to get all possible signatures. You should let the realtor know that advising you of legal statutes is the unauthorized practice of law and that this is your sole and separate property...owned prior to marriage...and is not the homestead of your new wife as she has never lived there, and that as a result, there is no legal requirement or necessity for your new wife to sign anything.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They tell me that it doesn't matter in Minnesota. She is currently my wife, and the fact that I am married (period) is the premise of the law. Is there a specific Minnesota Statute or reference I can cite back to their legal team if necessary?

The following Minnesota statute defines what is marital property and what is non-marital property:

Subdivision 1.Scope. For the purposes of this chapter and chapter 518A, the following terms have the meanings provided in this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
Subd. 2. [Renumbered subd 9]
Subd. 3.Custody. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties:
(a) "Legal custody" means the right to determine the child's upbringing, including education, health care, and religious training.
(b) "Joint legal custody" means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities, including the right to participate in major decisions determining the child's upbringing, including education, health care, and religious training.
(c) "Physical custody and residence" means the routine daily care and control and the residence of the child.
(d) "Joint physical custody" means that the routine daily care and control and the residence of the child is structured between the parties.
(e) Wherever used in this chapter, the term "custodial parent" or "custodian" means the person who has the physical custody of the child at any particular time.
(f) "Custody determination" means a court decision and court orders and instructions providing for the custody of a child, including parenting time, but does not include a decision relating to child support or any other monetary obligation of any person.
(g) "Custody proceeding" includes proceedings in which a custody determination is one of several issues, such as an action for dissolution, divorce, or separation, and includes proceedings involving children who are in need of protection or services, domestic abuse, and paternity.
Subd. 3a.Maintenance. "Maintenance" means an award made in a dissolution or legal separation proceeding of payments from the future income or earnings of one spouse for the support and maintenance of the other.
Subd. 3b.Marital property; exceptions. "Marital property" means property, real or personal, including vested public or private pension plan benefits or rights, acquired by the parties, or either of them, to a dissolution, legal separation, or annulment proceeding at any time during the existence of the marriage relation between them, or at any time during which the parties were living together as husband and wife under a purported marriage relationship which is annulled in an annulment proceeding, but prior to the date of valuation under section 518.58, subdivision 1. All property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage and before the valuation date is presumed to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually or by the spouses in a form of co-ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety, or community property. Each spouse shall be deemed to have a common ownership in marital property that vests not later than the time of the entry of the decree in a proceeding for dissolution or annulment. The extent of the vested interest shall be determined and made final by the court pursuant to section 518.58. If a title interest in real property is held individually by only one spouse, the interest in the real property of the nontitled spouse is not subject to claims of creditors or judgment or tax liens until the time of entry of the decree awarding an interest to the nontitled spouse. The presumption of marital property is overcome by a showing that the property is nonmarital property.
"Nonmarital property" means property real or personal, acquired by either spouse before, during, or after the existence of their marriage, which
(a) is acquired as a gift, bequest, devise or inheritance made by a third party to one but not to the other spouse;
(b) is acquired before the marriage;
(c) is acquired in exchange for or is the increase in value of property which is described in clauses (a), (b), (d), and (e);
(d) is acquired by a spouse after the valuation date; or
(e) is excluded by a valid antenuptial contract.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What if the two realtors (seller and buyer's realtor) absolutely insist on both signature on the purchase agreement and closing documents. What effect will this have on the legality of our prenuptial? Would the proceeds from the sale be issued solely to me, or would the check be issued to both of us as current husband and wife?

This would not result in your wife having any ownership. Anything your wife signs should include a provision by her signature that indicates that she is acknowledging and agreeing that she has no ownership right, homestead or otherwise, in the property and that she is signing only to facilitate the sale and not to claim any ownership interest in the property. The check will be issued only to you. Two wrongs ("realtors") don't make a right, but if she signs under the foregoing conditions you'll be fine.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is there anyway you can copy and paste this answer to my email address:[email protected] for me. I need this asap and my home office printer isn't working right now. That figures, right? I will need to reference your answers to adequately defend my position with therealtors this afternoon.

Thanks for following up. Unfortunately, under my terms of service with JustAnswer, I'm not allowed to communicate other than in this forum, but you can get this by email...there is a Share button on the bottom right of your original question box, and if you hover over it with your mouse, one of the options is email.
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