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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    1

    Default Does Abandonment Affect a Spouse's Rights to Equity in the Marital Home

    My question involves a marriage in the state of: Washington DC.

    Greetings and thanks for listening to my story or rather my fathers story. He is a veteran (US Army), currently 71 years old and been divorced for 10 years. My mother is currently 81 years old. After their divorced they agreed under the divorce decree that they would continue to live under the same roof in Washington DC and my father would care for a majority of the mortgage (small), utilities and other common living arrangements such food (she would provide as well) and heath insurance for them both. My mother at the time only had social security and no retirement.

    4 years ago they decided to get a reverse mortgage to provide for their needs and other incidentals such as car (pay off) payments and one of my mothers large payments, a college tuition amassed by my foster brother of approximately 20 thousand dollars. I did not question it as it was there house and they were currently of sound mind. (Note- The divorce decree states that "any conflict with the home will be renegotiated through court mediation) (I can be specific on that if needed). My father attempted to keep notes of such expenditures but some fell by the wayside.

    3 years ago my mothers wayward son (I have not seen him in 20 years) appears and literally takes my mother from home. I assumed it was a decision made by my mother because she vaguely mentioned leaving home but made no steps to do so. She did not inform my father of the move. When he returned home she had packed and left. I stayed in contact with her the best I could but could only get vague information on her well-being and state of mind. (currently not so well now)

    Ever since that time he has gotten "power of attorney" and is now attempting to sue my father for my mothers "apparent" fair share in the property which for some reason to them is half of the properties value based on an internet search. My fathers argument is my mother "abandoned the property" for which they are suppose to continue to pay taxes, insurance, utilities and keep as a primary residence under the stipulations of the mortgage loan and she did not.

    I know people can sue for anything but what do you think of the story?

    Are they any legal recourses for this type of lawsuit such as abandonment of property or according to stipulations in the divorce decree such as...all matters relating the home must go through mediation or according to the mortgage they signed...both owners must remain in home as their primary residence.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,276

    Default Re: Divorce -Property Issue and Absent Child-Civil Lawsuit Pending

    Quote Quoting Jmanley
    View Post
    Well he is suing and a court date is scheduled for august.
    Ok, so your brother, in his capacity as attorney-in-fact pursuant to a power of attorney is suing your father for half of the property's value. Correct? Is your brother represented by an attorney? What cause(s) of action does the complaint allege?

    When was your father served with the summons and complaint? What is the purpose of the "court date . . . scheduled [in] [A]ugust"? Your father is going to want to consult with and probably retain an attorney to handle the defense of the lawsuit.


    Quote Quoting Jmanley
    View Post
    The real question is are they any legal recourses for this type of lawsuit such as abandonment of property or according to stipulations in the divorce decree such as...all matters relating the home must go through mediation or according to the mortgage they signed...both owners must remain in home as their primary residence.
    A requirement in the mortgage that they both reside in the property isn't relevant, and what you described is not "abandonment." The terms of the divorce decree will, however, be highly relevant. The lawyer that your father retains may well see other bases for defense once he/she has reviewed the complaint and other relevant documents.

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