Consenting Adults & Married Couple’s Homestead

It takes two consenting adults to sell the homestead property of a married couple—the husband and the wife—even if only one name is on the deed. Regardless of whether or not your wife’s name is on the deed of your primary residence, she has to give her consent to sell the property.  You cannot sell your house to surprise her with an RV.  You have to get your wife’s permission to sell the house that she lives in. Even if you bought the house before you ever met her, put only your own money into it…your house is roped in when you tie the knot. You also cannot will your homestead to your kids and kick your wife out upon your demise.  You may be married till death do you part, but your wife is not going anywhere you die unless she wants to. Tenancy by Entirety includes the unities of Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship plus the Unity of Marriage, which subscribes to the legal fiction that husband and wife are one entity.  As long as the marriage is intact, neither can break the tenancy nor otherwise convey the property.  However, upon the dissolution of the marriage, the […] Read More

The Pumpkin-Eater & His Wife

Mr. Peter, pumpkin-eater, married a wife and tried to keep her Locked away in his pumpkin shell, But had to ask her permission when it was time to sell. Now Mr. Peter had owned the pumpkin shell as his primary residence when he was single.  He had hand carved it himself just to suit his tastes, and when he married, Mrs. Peter in and promptly hung curtains everywhere and decorated with knickknacks and throw pillows, which the place clearly did not need! Mr. Peter was old fashioned in his thinking and believed he could get rid of his intensive-interior-design wife if he could just sell the place…with her inside.  He was not so much trying to “keep” his wife, but to leave her to a new pumpkin-homeowner. Turns out, though, Mr. Peter had to have Mrs. Peter’s permission to sell their homestead. “But she is not even on the deed!” Peter protested, but to no avail.  Both husband and wife must give consent when it comes to conveyance of their primary residence. The moral of the story is:  Do not try use a real estate sale where marital counseling may work best. Have a Safe & Happy Halloween!   Read More