Mediate This!

We're Unmarried With Joint Ownership of Assets Do We Need A Mediator or Attorney?

January 28, 2022 Matthew Brickman, Sydney Mitchell Season 1 Episode 47
Mediate This!
We're Unmarried With Joint Ownership of Assets Do We Need A Mediator or Attorney?
Show Notes Transcript

What happens when your relationship has all the qualities of a marriage but without the legal sanction? Matthew Brickman and Sydney Mitchell answer your most frequently asked questions about divorce as they go over several key points:

  • Assume nothing.
  • Know who you are before you get married. 
  • Know who you're getting married to. 
  • Know the laws and statutes in the state you live in.
  • Don't take advice from anyone who isn't a legal professional in the state in which you're getting married and living in.

If you have a matter, disagreement, or dispute you need professional help with then visit iMediate.com - Email mbrickman@ichatmediation or Call (877) 822-1479

Matthew Brickman is a Florida Supreme Court certified family and appellate mediator who has worked in the 15th and 19th Judicial Circuit Courts since 2009 and 2006 respectively. But what makes him qualified to speak on the subject of conflict resolution is his own personal experience with divorce.

Download Matthew's book on iTunes for FREE:
You're Not the Only One - The Agony of Divorce: The Joy of Peaceful Resolution

Matthew Brickman
President iMediate Inc.
Mediator 20836CFA
iMediateInc.com

Sydney Mitchell:

Hi, my name is Sydney Mitchell.

Matthew Brickman:

Hi, I'm Matthew Brickman, Florida Supreme court mediator. Welcome to the Mediate This! Podcast where we discuss everything mediation and conflict resolution.

Sydney Mitchell:

Welcome everybody to this episode of Mediate This! This I'm Sydney sitting here with Matthew and today we are gonna be answering some of the questions that you are listeners have been submitting to us about all things, divorce and mediation. So , um, let's just jump right in. If you do have a question in the future that you would love for us to dive into on an episode of Mediate This!, you can just send an email, submit your questions to info@ichatmediation.com . It'll get sent directly to us and hopefully be able to answer your questions here.

Matthew Brickman:

Do we have another question?

Sydney Mitchell:

I do our next question here reads if we aren't married, but share joint ownership of assets. Do I need a mediator or attorney?

Matthew Brickman:

So needing a or attorney depends on the laws in your state , um, whether or not it's joint ownership or individual ownership. Um, it depends. So like in Florida , um, you've gotta go to mediation. So you're coming to mediation , um , with, or without an attorney, you have to come to mediation. So, and with , if it's , if it's joint ownership or individually owned , you're still having to come to mediation. You're not getting in front of a judge without seeing me , uh , well, not just me, but other mediators, but still <laugh> , um , without seeing a mediator. Um, so yeah, I mean , um , if you're not married and um , oh , wait a second. Wait, wait, wait , wait , wait , let me back up here . Okay . So first off, whether or not it's joint ownership or not, yes. You're going to need to come to a mediator or an attorney , um, when dealing with a divorce, but this says, if you're not married and you share a joint ownership of an asset, do you need a, a mediator or attorney? So I think what this is meaning now. And so rereading this, this is like a paternity action where they may own a home together or a car together. They may have a bank they're not married , so they're not married, but they share joint ownership of an asset. Do they need a mediator or an attorney? So <affirmative> , this is interesting. The family court does not have jurisdiction over the asset. So technically they have to come and deal with the child issues and the child support in a family court . And then they need to go to a civil court or circuit court and deal with their home if it's like a home mm-hmm <affirmative> . Um , but there are a lot of times where I will deal with both of them . We'll put 'em all in a family court and take care of all of it at once, because it is a cheaper, easier way to go. I mean, nobody wants to open up two different cases in two different courts with two different sets of rules. It's easier just to say, Hey, look, we have a kid, we bought a home, but we're not married. We both put the money down. And what's interesting is, you know, family law, when it , when it comes to real estate was based off of real estate law in the civil court anyway, or vice versa in any case, the law is the same. So , um, so it is easier. Um, and I've had that like , um, just, just recently , um, they actually had a home that they had purchased , um, before they had gotten together , um, as a couple and, you know, we don't have , um, common laws , so they were never married, but before they got together and had the child , um, for all intents and purposes, they were married. Like if , if they lived and of these other states, they'd be like, yeah, you're married. Right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> cause they had a , um, they had a car that was titled to both of them . They had joint bank accounts and they had a house that they had purchased together. So for all intents and purposes, you're like, yeah, they're married. This is a divorce. Nope, Nope . That's not how it went down. So we had talked with them , me and the attorneys, we had talked with 'em and said, look, you know, we could do two, the attorneys could do two filings, but they said, no , let's just deal with it . So what they did and neither of them wanted the home, neither of 'em could individually afford the home. So we simply did the same thing we do. Even in a marriage, we said, look, the home is gonna be listed for sale with a licensed real estate agent we put and all the times, all the stuff and whatnot , they're gonna equally divide the net proceeds, you know, while it's being sold, this is who's paying for what and everything. So we still dealt with it just like we would, but we did it all in a family court . Um , even though they were never married . Gotcha . But they had joint ownership of an asset . It's um, it's not a rare thing. Um , because there's a lot of people that are just, you know, what , what I term playing house , you know, not married .

Sydney Mitchell:

I would argue that this is, I mean, just increasingly relevant today. Yeah. You know, I see more and more people doing this so well.

Matthew Brickman:

And , and , and with, with the younger generation, they are , um, very focused on , um, I mean, I , sorry, back up . Um , they're they're they're and this is almost , uh , sorry, this is almost your generation Sydney , but quite self-absorbed and narcissistic. Um , just, just, just look at Instagram. Everybody thinks that they're an Instagram model in a, in , in , in a target dressing room, trying on clothes and look at me, I'm a fashionista. Like

Sydney Mitchell:

I can't even tell you how much of that I see. So I,

Matthew Brickman:

It is ridiculous, but here's the thing. So they are very narcissistic and self-absorbed, but they, a lot of them are , um , goal oriented, hardworking, and they're focused on them, which being that they are focused on themselves. That means they're less focused on others, which means not getting married sooner. They're getting married later in life, which means that they are. But, but look that w a and having sex and having babies and buying homes. No. Um , unfortunately, and this was as of 2019, we don't have 2020 statistics yet, even though it's 2021 . Um, as of the date of recording this, but in , in 2019, never has it been so high ever that 40% . And that's a huge number. 40% of the children being born in America are born outta wedlock. Wow . That means that 40% of the children are being born straight into a time sharing parenting plan. Mm-hmm <affirmative> 40%. That's how , I mean, that's how many kids are being born, but , but don't think that mommy and daddy, aren't buying things, doing things, playing how else ? All of that, where they're not married, but they have joint ownership of an asset. Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah. You still need a mediator. And sometimes you might need an attorney. Um, and you know, the other thing too is maybe you're not married when you bought that asset, but now you're married. So it's a premarital asset, or maybe, you know, the wife bought the house. I had one recently where the wife bought the house while they were dating for a number of years, she purchased a house. Then they got married. She has continued to pay for the house. She has paid a hundred of everything for the house. The house is hers. He could never, ever, ever take the house, but he does have a monetary interest. There's a component that he has monetarily in the home. So we have to, there's a formula for what they call passive appreciation that we have to run a formula for. What was the house valued at, at the data file , the date of marriage or acquisition? What was it a date of filing? How much has been paid? You know, there's a whole formula that says, okay, his marital interest is X, so she would owe him X out of the house. Right. And so , um, and so even though it's individually owned, but then it cross us that line into the marriage. We still have ways of figuring that out, that, you know, you're still gonna need an attorney or a mediator for it because they're not gonna have that formula. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Yeah. Hopefully, hopefully that, that , I think that sort of answers the question. And maybe even not the question above and beyond, just because I'm, I misread it in the beginning or MIS misheard you .

Sydney Mitchell:

Uh, no, I, I love the above and beyond, as I mentioned, I've said this to you before, you know, I think these questions bring such good conversation. You know, it's almost like two or three questions per question, because there's so well, what if this happens? And this happens and, and, you know, I think there are so many listeners that are in some of those outstanding situations. And so for you listeners, if, and when you wanna submit questions, we would love to answer them. As a reminder, you can email info, iChat mediation.com. We wanna roll through as many of these questions as we can. They have been so, so good. Matthew, thank you for all of your knowledge. Gosh, every, every time we, we do a podcast, I am learning more and more. It's been incredible.

Matthew Brickman:

Occasionally Sydney and I will be releasing Q & A bonus episodes where we will answer questions and give you a personal shout out.

Sydney Mitchell:

If you have a comment or question regarding anything that we discuss, email us at info@ichatmediation.com that's info@ichatmediation.com and stay tuned to hear your shout out and have your question answered here on the show.

Matthew Brickman:

For more information about my services or to schedule your mediation with me, either in person or using my iChatMediation Virtual Platform built by Cisco Communications. Visit me online at www.iMediateInc.com. Call me at 561-262-9121, Toll-Free at 877-822-1479 or email me at MBrickman@iChatMediation.com.

Speaker 3:

Okay .