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As real estate question. 1988 divorce, deed to be held as…

As real estate question...

As real estate question. 1988 divorce, deed to be held as tenants in common, husband awarded use and occupancy, while wife is required to pay 50% of all repairs and maintenance. When youngest chums tired 18 in 2003, the house was to be sold and proceeds split between the parties; however, husband was still u home as sole prop

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have been taken so far? Has any paperwork been prepared or filed?

AZ real estate question

Lawyer's Assistant: Have they talked to an AZ lawyer about this?

Husband has family/divorce party but they just advised this area is beyond their scope after 6 months and $20k in legal fees

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Answered in 6 hours by:
5/3/2018
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 22,797
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Hello: This is Phillipsesq. Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Kindly note that I just came across your post. I do not have control over the question list or the promises made to you by the site as to the response time. I am just a site user just like you. Nonetheless, I apologize for the delay in response to your post.

Kindly give me a few minutes to prepare my response.

Thank you for your patience.

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I am sorry, but I am having difficulty understanding your post.

Kindly review, edit, properly identify the parties and your issues, ask specific question(s), and resubmit.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
My husband divorced his 1st wife in 1988. The judge ordered the deed be held as tenants in common on the martial property with him having use and occupancy to raise his kids and her paying 50% of all repairs and maintenance until such time as the youngest child turns 18, which was in 2003. Now it is 2018, husband requested the wife sign over her share of the deed since she had never paid her share for the house. Instead she hired an attorney and is dragging him through court to have a judge order him to sell the property and give half the equity to her. The question is...what bills are included in the term "repairs and maintenance?" Is that simply household repairs or does this term also include the bills one is required to pay to maintain a home such as mortgage, property tax and home owners insurance? Also, after husband has had sole possession of home for the past 30 years, and has paid every bill and all repairs, and can prove all of these payments, does wife have a valid claim to any portion of equity when she never paid one single bill or repair and has also waited 15 years to bring this claim against husband? I'm just wondering what the AZ real estate laws stipulate regarding this issue and to see what, if anything, husband's rights are to stop wife from taking his home after a significant time has past. Thank you

Thank you for the information.

I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was offline when your response came in.

Kindly give me a few minutes to review the information that you have provided and prepare my response.

Thank you for your patience.

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The question is...what bills are included in the term "repairs and maintenance?" Is that simply household repairs

Response 1: Household repairs; payment of electric, water, and sewer bills; lawn mowing and maintenance.

or does this term also include the bills one is required to pay to maintain a home such as mortgage, property tax and home owners insurance?

Response 2: Unfortunately, no.

Also, after husband has had sole possession of home for the past 30 years, and has paid every bill and all repairs, and can prove all of these payments, does wife have a valid claim to any portion of equity when she never paid one single bill or repair and has also waited 15 years to bring this claim against husband?

Response 3: Unfortunately, yes she has a valid claim because of the Divorce Decree. However, your husband can ask the Court to deduct from her share the 50% of the repairs and maintenance expenses that she has not paid.

l'm just wondering what the AZ real estate laws stipulate regarding this issue and to see what, if anything, husband's rights are to stop wife from taking his home after a significant time has past. Thank you

Response 4: There is no other law to review. The governing law here is the Divorce Decree that ordered the house to be sold after the youngest child turned 18 and proceeds be divided 50/50 by father and mother. However, since the mother did not pay her share of the expenses as ordered by the Court, her share of the equity would be reduced by the 50% of the expenses that she did not pay over the years.

I am sorry that I do not have more favorable news for you. However, as an Attorney and an Officer of the Court, I have ethical and professional obligation to provide you with accurate and honest information eventhough that information may not be in your favor.

Best wishes,

A 5-star positive rating to my response is appreciated so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for giving a positive rating. However, that is how I get paid for answering questions on this site.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
the mortgage, property tax and homeowners insurance diesnt count as repairs and maintenance, BUT, does it count if those bills were held jointly and husband paid wife's share of said bills all of those years so as to avoid losing the house? Does this fact count for anything according to AZ law?

No, to all your questions.

Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 22,797
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Verified
Phillips Esq. and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
if the ex wife agrees to mediation, can husband get legal fees? Or will this case have to go to trial in order for him to be awarded his legal fees?

Your questions:

So if the ex wife agrees to mediation, can husband get legal fees?

Response 1: Unfortunately, no.

Or will this case have to go to trial in order for him to be awarded his legal fees?

Response 2: Yes, if at all. Going to Court does not guarantee that he would be awarded legal fees.

A 5-star positive rating to my response is appreciated so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for giving a positive rating. However, that is how I get paid for answering questions on this site. Thank you for your cooperation.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
A couple of questions...if ex wife is claiming ignorance as a defense, stating she didn't know about any bills for these past 30 years or didn't receive them, does this hold weight? Husband has tried to keep as much as possible in the way of bills and receipts for house repairs and maintenance these past 30 years. On many occasions in the first 10 years husband had sent them to his ex wife but his efforts went ignored. So does her defense that she never received anything hold any weight? Or is it simply that she was ordered to pay these items and she didn't, so those items then get deducted from her share of the equity? Trying to determine what level of accountability falls on her part to take initiatuve to pay her Court ordered obligatuons.Ex wife's other comment was that she will only agree to pay any home repair or maintenance item that was from a contractor where a company came out and documented repair on a receipt. Full well knowing that husband has always done 95% of repairs on the home himself. He has many receipts and does have bank statements showing charges for materials and supplies at home depot, Lowe's, ace hardware, etc... to do certain fixes round the house in lieu of hiring a contractor, saving him money on labor. So are these valid charges towards repairs? Prior to ex wife bringing these claims against Husband to get equity from home, ex wife did enlist Husband's handyman services to fix plumbing and electrical for a home she recently purchased. He performed these tasks in 30-40 hours and had many trips to home depot alobg with receipts for materials to do these projects. Can this be useful in Husband's position regarding validation of his many trips to home improvement stores to complete a project? Can Husband group all charges together for say a roof repair project and present a final cost for said repair? or is each charge looked at separately? We are trying to determine how to organize this information to support his defense.
Thank you
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Also, can you please tell me where to reference the inclusions on the term "Repairs and Maintenance" where it refers to a judgement made in a court if law? Thank you

Thank you for the information.

I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was offline when your response came in.

Kindly give me a few minutes to review the information that you have provided and prepare my response.

Thank you for your patience.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question

A couple of questions...if ex wife is claiming ignorance as a defense, stating she didn't know about any bills for these past 30 years or didn't receive them, does this hold weight? Husband has tried to keep as much as possible in the way of bills and receipts for house repairs and maintenance these past 30 years. On many occasions in the first 10 years husband had sent them to his ex wife but his efforts went ignored. So does her defense that she never received anything hold any weight?

Response 1: No, it does not.

Or is it simply that she was ordered to pay these items and she didn't, so those items then get deducted from her share of the equity?

Response 2: Yes, that is correct.

Trying to determine what level of accountability falls on her part to take initiatuve to pay her Court ordered obligatuons.

Ex wife's other comment was that she will only agree to pay any home repair or maintenance item that was from a contractor where a company came out and documented repair on a receipt. Full well knowing that husband has always done 95% of repairs on the home himself. He has many receipts and does have bank statements showing charges for materials and supplies at home depot, Lowe's, ace hardware, etc... to do certain fixes round the house in lieu of hiring a contractor, saving him money on labor. So are these valid charges towards repairs?

Response 3: Yes, they are.

Prior to ex wife bringing these claims against Husband to get equity from home, ex wife did enlist Husband's handyman services to fix plumbing and electrical for a home she recently purchased. He performed these tasks in 30-40 hours and had many trips to home depot alobg with receipts for materials to do these projects. Can this be useful in Husband's position regarding validation of his many trips to home improvement stores to complete a project?

Response 4: Yes.

Can Husband group all charges together for say a roof repair project and present a final cost for said repair? or is each charge looked at separately? We are trying to determine how to organize this information to support his defense.
Thank you

Response 5: I am sorry, but I cannot answer this question as it would require me to act as your Attorney, which I am not. You are seeking legal advice with this question, which I am prohibited from giving by terms of service.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I understand, thank you. One last question. You previously answered a quaint regarding what bills were inclusive of the court orders on "repairs and maintenance." You indicated that the bills would be for home repairs, electric, water, sewer, yard mowing and maintenance. Is this fact stipulated in AZ real estate law anywhere? Or is this a legal fact that a judge would already know?

This is something a Judge would know already.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
if the amount of repairs and maintenance is greater than wife's share of the equity, would husband be awarded the house plus remaining outstanding balance per the orders of the decree?Also, if we need to retain a real estate attorney going forward, how would we get in contact with you?
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