QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
I left my home in Jamaica around 30 years ago. I sent monies for taxes to my husband, although our relationship has been over for over 25 years. Now he is divorcing me and telling me he is taking my name from the title. We both own the property as joint tenants, but I have nothing physically there and our children are grown.
RESPONSE: Dear Jackie,
It’s a common problem among married couples where one spouse lives abroad for years. Your husband can be successful with his application to remove your name from the title by a process called adverse possession. The law requires him to prove several factors mainly:
– you abandoned the marriage
– there was no threat or force to influence your decision to leave the home
– he lived there and took care of the property solely in full view and understanding of the general public with no secrecy
– that where he collected the rent, it was beneficial to him alone
Jamaicans especially those living abroad are always encouraged to consult with attornies back home when it comes to their property. To avoid the enforcement of the Limitations of Actions Act established in 1881, it is required by persons to secure your interest in a property especially when your relationship ends.