Can my husband of 26 years kick me out of the house that he owns it was bought 14 years ago?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my husband of 26 years kick me out of the house that he owns it was bought 14 years ago?

Every time my husband disagrees with me or gets mad at me – which is often – he orders me to leave. He also constantly reminds me that its his house because my name is not on the deed to the house or land. We have been married 26 years. He retired 8 years ago and had a stroke several months later which left him blind and with some short term memory issues. I work and take care of him. He refuses to make out a will but I did get life insurance on him about 5 years ago. He gets mad about that too Do I have any legal rights to the house and/or property?

Asked on March 5, 2018 under Family Law, South Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, unless and until there is a formal separation agreement in effect or a final decree of divorce has been granted, you have equal rights to occupy the house. This is because it is the "joint marital residence". This is true no matter whose name is on the deed. Further, if your husband dies without a Will, then the "intestacy" laws of your state will control the disribution of is estate. Depending on specific state law, that is 1/2-1/3 to the surviving spouse with the remainder to be equally split among the children of the deceased. If there are no children, then the spouse is the sole heir and inherits everything. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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