Legal Question in Family Law in Massachusetts

My question is my significant other and myself have lived together as a married couple except we were never married for 28 years. We have 2 daughters together What I need an answer to is We own a home e split the morgage. My name is not on the deed its only on the motgage.I want to end the relationship and sell the house. What is my entitlement and how do we get started? Thank you

Michelle Lamphier

Asked on 5/02/13, 9:51 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Wyckoff Nissenbaum The Law Office of Wyckoff Nissenbaum

Dear Michelle,

Your situation is not unique, but requires several follow up questions in order for me to assist you. How old are the children? Does the Father want to end the relationship? Do you own other joint property together? Is the Father on the birth certificate? The probate court is a court of equity and has authority to force the sale of the house. You can contact my office at 617-410-6467 for additional information.

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Answered on 5/02/13, 10:01 am


If your name is not on the deed, it is probably not on the mortgage, but you may be on the note. You have an equitable claim to the property based on being on the note and paying half of the payment. You can go online and see if you are in fact on the deed or the mortgage by checking with the local registry. If you are on the deed, then you are entitled to half without a claim of equity.

As to the children, who is on the birth certificates. If both of you, then one of you will be responsible for child support for the person who gets custody. I presume that is you.

However, Massachusetts does not recognize common law marriage and the personal assets of each of you are your own subject to certain exceptions.

If you feel you need assistance, please feel free to contact my office.

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Answered on 5/02/13, 10:52 am

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