Here are the underlying facts:
My ex -girlfriend and I purchased a home in November of 2016. The home is titled as “Joint Tenants with right of survivor ship”. We are not married.
Since most of her money was tied up in IRA accounts, WE AGREED, verbally I would pay for the home with my funds which were not IRA funds. So, she could avoid early withdrawal penalties.
Subsequent to moving in we drew up wills with each naming the other as sole beneficiary.
At that time, I saw no need to be actually compensated for the money I used to pay for the home as we considered all funds to be hers and mine, in addition she had granted me access to her funds.
In the the fall of 2019 we began to have differences and she withdrew all of her money from the accounts for which I had been named sole beneficiary and opened a new accounts, thereby eliminating my access to her funds.
At that time, I requested, and she complied, to pay for half of the property taxes and home insurance, which became due in November.
I then requested that given the current state of our relationship, and that she no longer considered her funds as partly mine that she now return the 150K+ in funds which I advanced for the purchase of the home . She refused to address the issue directly.
in early December of 2019, I came home around 10:30 AM to find all of her clothes and many of her belongings had been removed. She was gone.
She left no note or any information as to where she has gone. In the interim I have emailed her requesting she give me the funds due me. Again , no response.
While I know at this point she legally owns half of the home I have been left to pay for all expenses needed for the upkeep of the home.
If this continues, at what point can I claim she abandoned the property and take full ownership?
What legal recourse do I have to make her pay or at least make her pay for the upkeep of the home.
1 Answer from Attorneys
At no point can you claim abandonment and claim legal ownership. You would need to file a partition action calling for the sale of the property AND an accounting of the sums due. During the pendency of that litigation, she should pay her share of the upkeep. If you are living there, then you should expect to pay some sort of rental in her favor as well. Hire a competent real estate litigation attorney.