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If you are the sole proprietor of a house that you agree to let your partner (not married) and mother "rent" (verbal agreements), then you sell the house for profit, does your partner have claim to any profit on a house that you were the sole proprietor?

This legal question related to Family law attorneys in Oklahoma has been answered.

Location: Oklahoma  |  Law type: Family law attorneys

While living apart, my partner (we are not married and still not married) and mother decided to look for a rent house I knew they would not be able to afford. So, at the time using my name alone along with my VA assistance and great credit was able to purchase a nice house whose mortgage was going to be a few hundred dollars less than typical renting a house like this. We made a verbal agreement that they would pay "rent" monthly to cover the cost of the mortgage. I did not reside in this house except to visit on weekends. Many months they could not even afford this so I would have to cover the mortgage myself along with me living in a different location. Later her mom moves out and we plan to downsize, so going through the process myself again, I end up selling the house for a profit. Now, my partner that lives with me is saying she can claim the money when there is no paperwork or anything that ties her to the house besides mail. It was bought and sold in my name alone. When are the other times a landlord pays their renter back? We started living together last February and have had a child in that time, does she have a claim to the profit of something I bought and sold?  The money went directly to me in which I set a compounding account in my name to put the money away. This money we agreed was for our future but continues to throw threats that she can take it. 



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Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to Family law attorneys in the jurisdiction of Oklahoma. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Given the complexity and the specific details of your situation, it's essential to approach this with an understanding of the legal principles that may apply. The scenario you've described involves issues of property rights, verbal agreements, and potentially family law, given the presence of a child and a partnership, though not a marriage. Let's break down the key points and suggest steps forward.

Legal Framework in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the ownership and sale of property are governed by state laws that recognize written contracts and deeds as primary evidence of ownership and agreements regarding property. Verbal agreements, especially concerning property transactions, can be challenging to enforce due to the Statute of Frauds, which requires certain agreements to be in writing to be legally enforceable. This includes agreements for the sale of real estate or agreements that cannot be performed within one year.

Relevant legal areas may include:

  • Property Law: Governs the rights related to the ownership and sale of property.
  • Contract Law: Pertains to the creation and enforcement of agreements, including verbal contracts, though with limitations.
  • Family Law: Could be relevant due to the relationship and the presence of a child, affecting financial responsibilities.

No Direct Links to Specific Statutes

Unfortunately, without specific links to statutes, I can recommend visiting the Oklahoma State Courts Network for more detailed legal information and statutes that might relate to your situation.

Possible Resolutions

The resolution to your situation would likely involve several steps:

  1. Documentation Review: Examine all written documents related to the property purchase and sale, including mortgage documents, to ascertain sole ownership.
  2. Legal Consultation: Given the complexities, especially with verbal agreements and family involvement, consulting with a family lawyer in Oklahoma would be advisable to understand your position better and explore possible legal avenues.
  3. Mediation: Before legal action, consider mediation with your partner to reach a mutual agreement regarding the profit distribution. This can be a less adversarial and more cost-effective solution.

Pricing for Legal Services

Due to the specific request not to fabricate data, I can't provide a tailored table of prices for legal services in Oklahoma without access to current, localized data. Legal fees can vary widely based on the complexity of the case, the lawyer's experience, and the law firm's pricing structure. Generally, consultations might range from free to several hundred dollars per hour for experienced attorneys. For the most accurate pricing, contact local law firms directly.

Why These Cases Are Complicated

  1. Verbal Agreements: They are notoriously difficult to prove and enforce, particularly with significant assets like real estate.
  2. Property Rights: Determining the entitlement to profits from a property sale, especially without a written agreement, involves complex legal analysis.
  3. Family Dynamics: The presence of a child and a non-marital partnership introduces considerations of support and potentially equitable distribution of assets.

Case Studies and Solutions

  • Case 1: A couple with a verbal agreement on property profit-sharing separates. Solution: Mediation to agree on a settlement or court intervention if an agreement cannot be reached.
  • Case 2: A person claims a share of property profit based on contributions to mortgage payments. Solution: Documentation of contributions and legal analysis of implied contract principles.
  • Case 3: Dispute over property profits between family members. Solution: Family law consultation and possibly involving probate court if inheritance claims are involved.

Questions for Further Clarification

  1. Did you and your partner make any written agreements or have witnesses to your verbal agreement regarding the property?
  2. Have you documented all financial contributions made by both parties towards the mortgage and maintenance of the property?
  3. Are there any communications (emails, texts) that might suggest an agreement or understanding regarding the property's profits?

Common Questions and Answers

Q1: Can a verbal agreement be legally binding in Oklahoma regarding property transactions?

Verbal agreements concerning real estate transactions are generally not enforceable due to the Statute of Frauds, which requires such agreements to be in writing. However, exceptions exist, particularly if partial performance or detrimental reliance can be proven.

Q2: How can I prove a verbal agreement?

Proving a verbal agreement can be challenging but may involve presenting witnesses, written correspondence (emails, texts), or evidence of actions taken based on the agreement (like financial transactions).

Q3: What rights does a non-married partner have to property owned by the other partner?

Generally, a non-married partner does not have automatic rights to property owned solely by the other partner unless there is a written agreement or other legal grounds, such as contributions to the property's purchase or maintenance.

Q4: How can we resolve a dispute over property profit without going to court?

Disputes over property profits can often be resolved through mediation, where a neutral enforcement of agreements, including verbal ones.

Potential Solutions

  1. Legal Consultation: The first step should be to consult with a [family lawyer] or a property law attorney in Oklahoma to get tailored advice based on all the specifics of your case. This professional can help clarify if the verbal agreement you had could have any legal standing and advise on the implications of your unilateral property sale.

  2. Mediation: Before any legal confrontation, consider mediation with your partner. A neutral third party can help facilitate a discussion to reach an amicable agreement regarding the distribution of the sale's profits, if any. This step is especially important given your ongoing relationship and child.

Complexity and Case Studies

These cases are complicated due to the intertwining of personal relationships and verbal agreements with legal property rights. Here are hypothetical scenarios and resolutions:

  1. Dispute Over Verbal Agreement: A couple living together with a verbal agreement on property contribution. Resolution: Mediation or court intervention to establish the validity and terms of the agreement.

  2. Sale of Jointly Invested Property: One partner sells a property without the other's consent where both contributed financially. Resolution: Legal action to claim a share of the profits based on contributions.

  3. Property Sale with a Child Involved: Selling a family home where a child resides. Resolution: Family court considerations to ensure the child's welfare is prioritized in any financial distribution.

Relevant Questions for User Clarification

  1. Were there any witnesses to the verbal agreement about the property arrangement?
  2. Have you documented any contributions from your partner towards the mortgage or house maintenance?
  3. How have you communicated about the profit distribution from the house sale?

Commonly Asked Questions

Q1: Can verbal agreements be legally binding in Oklahoma?

Yes, verbal agreements can be legally binding, but their enforceability, especially regarding property, is complicated and often requires proof beyond mere conversation.

Q2: Do common-law partners have rights to property acquired during the relationship in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma does not recognize common-law marriage unless it meets specific criteria. However, contributions to property or cohabitation agreements may introduce complexities resolved through legal action.

Q3: How is property divided in Oklahoma if there's no marriage but there is a child involved?

Property division without marriage is generally based on ownership and contribution. However, when a child is involved, the court may consider arrangements that best serve the child's interest, though this typically pertains more to custody than property division.

Q4: What steps should I take if I want to ensure a fair division of property sale profits with my partner?

Document any agreements in writing, seek mediation for disputes, and consult with a lawyer to understand your rights and obligations fully.

Q5: Can my partner claim a portion of the sale profits if they contributed to the mortgage or home improvements?

Potentially, yes. Contributions to the property's value can be considered in determining an equitable share, though this often requires legal action to enforce.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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Legal question "If you are the sole proprietor of a house that you agree to let your partner (not married) and mother "rent" (verbal agreements), then you sell the house for profit, does your partner have claim to any profit on a house that you were the sole proprietor?" has been changed 4 months ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of Oklahoma & area of law: Family law attorneys.
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A Family attorney in the United States is a lawyer who assists clients with civil legal matters, such as "child custody", "alimony", "domestic violence" or "divorce" cases. The "family law" candidate should have at least 2 years of family law experience. These experiences may include divorce proceedings as well as child custody and counseling. Browse our database of family lawyers and get a free family law consultation.

  • Marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships (domestic violence)
  • Adoption and surrogacy
  • Child abuse and child abduction (child custody, child care)
  • The termination of relationships and ancillary matters, including divorce, annulment, property settlements, alimony, child custody and visitation, child support and alimony awards
  • Juvenile adjudication
  • paternity testing and paternity fraud
  • more about family law at wikipedia

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"If you are the sole proprietor of a house that you agree to let your partner (not married) and mother "rent" (verbal agreements), then you sell the house for profit, does your partner have claim to any profit on a house that you were the sole proprietor?"

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