Q. I’m a veteran and purchased my residence by way of a VA loan. I was generally the only a single on the bank loan. My wife and I were jointly as husband and spouse on the deed. When she died a handful of a long time in the past, I recorded a new deed just with my possess title. Around a 12 months back, I remarried so I recorded with my county report in office a new deed that experienced both equally me and my new spouse on it. Then she died, and I just lately I located out that my 1st wife experienced a lawful husband the complete time she was married to me in China. She essentially lied when we bought married but I married in excellent religion. Can my dead wife’s lawful husband in China assert fifty percent of my dwelling for the reason that his spouse was the owner with me?
A. We’re sorry for the reduction of your wives — and that you’re left with this tough and exclusive problem.
Here’s what you need to have to contemplate.
From a family regulation point of view, the disposition of serious house obtained for the duration of your relationship will definitely appear down to irrespective of whether your marriage to your initial wife was actually legitimate or if it was void from inception, stated Jeralyn Lawrence, a loved ones regulation attorney with Lawrence Regulation in Watchung.
If your marriage was not valid, an annulment may possibly be needed to formally identify the non-existence of any authorized union between you and your to start with spouse and dispel any equitable distribution assert, if any exists, Lawrence mentioned.
She reported New Jersey acknowledges two types of annulments — those people that are void “ab initio,” meaning the marriage was void from its inception, and these that qualify for a voidable annulment.
“In New Jersey, a relationship can be void for a number of good reasons, which includes if one particular of the functions by now has yet another legal husband or wife at the time of the subsequent relationship and the other party does not know about that current marriage, regarded as polygamy,” Lawrence stated.” “If your to start with spouse was married to an individual in China prior to and for the duration of her relationship to you, and you ended up unaware of her marriage to this unique when you and her married, it may possibly be doable for you to have the relationship annulled as void ab initio, even if she has considering that passed absent.”
Other examples of void or voidable marriages involve marriages involving blood family or marriages the place one of the spouses was below the age of consent at the time of the relationship, Lawrence explained.
Even if a marriage can be annulled void ab initio, it is clever to have a courtroom legally recognize the annulment so that you are not confronted with any upcoming challenges, she stated.
“Notably, you will have the load to show that your initially late spouse was now married at the time of your marriage to her in purchase to be granted the annulment,” she stated. “If the annulment is granted, your initial late spouse would have no equitable interest in your home, from a household regulation standpoint, mainly because the relationship would have never existed.”
Her other resource of entitlement could possibly be via an possession fascination by virtue of her name being on the deed, Lawrence mentioned.
“Since it is unclear as to how you and your very first wife took title to the marital residence, it may perhaps be useful to also critique this situation with a actual estate professional to decide what the right of survivorship may have been, if any, at the time of her passing,” she claimed.
Take into account speaking to an expert family members legislation legal professional who can glance deeper into the particulars of your scenario.
E-mail your inquiries to [email protected].
Karin Cost Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Progress Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Adhere to NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Come across NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Indicator up for NJMoneyHelp.com’s weekly e-publication.