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‘I wonder if he married me for monetary reasons’: I want to buy a home without putting my husband of 7 years on the deed

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Dear Quentin,

I decided to sell my home of 17 years to take a job in another state. At that time, I told my husband of seven years that I wanted a divorce. He knew about the job offer.  His secrets and lies “by omission” were the reasons I wanted a divorce. 

Later, he came to me and said he wanted half of the equity because he helped pay the mortgage and did some work at my rental property. 

My brother and I inherited the property upon my mother passing seven years before my husband and I got married (dad had passed several years prior). Needless to say, I said no to his request. That would have been half of $154,000.

Was I wrong to deny him half?

We decided to work on the marriage. I sold the house and the equity is in my personal bank account. I have since put a deposit (from equity) on a new home in a new state. I asked him if he is okay with the title to just be in my name, and he said yes. 

My understanding is that he will have to sign a quitclaim deed prior to closing. Plus, his credit is not so good. He pays debt late. We tried to purchase a house twice together and both times it was his late payments that caused the purchase to fall through and my income alone was not enough.

‘We tried to purchase a house twice together and both times it was his late payments that caused the purchase to fall through and my income alone was not enough.’

With my new job, my income is enough to purchase a house by myself. It is important to me to hold the title because he is not contributing any money to the purchase and the fact that he has a house in a different state (not where we moved from) that he purchased years before we dated/married and he has chosen not to sell or rent. 

Plus, he told me that his house was not considered “our” house because I never made a mortgage payment on it. I really do not know why he is holding on to it. I can only speculate that he wants to leave it to his adult kids who are always milking him for money or for a safe haven if we divorce. I have kids, too: two adult boys who are stable and homeowners.

Am I selfish to not put him on the title?

My husband is retired with a good “for life” pension and Social Security. He has money; just bad credit. I work and can draw Social Security next year when I turn 65.

He keeps financial things from me. He opened a different bank account because I would not take my name off of the joint account per his request, but he kept his name on the joint account. 

Neither one of us uses the joint account unless it is to send money to each other for a bill. Sometimes I wonder if he married me for monetary reasons. He wanted half from the sale of the house I inherited from my mother and/or refunded money spent 15 years ago for fixing up my rental.

Married to Secrets and Lies

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com, and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Dear Married,

If you did not commingle your finances on the house you inherited from your mother, you had every right to sell it and keep the money, as long as you did not put that money in a joint bank account. Was your husband paying rent or contributing to the mortgage? The latter can alter the status of your home. The best time to consult a lawyer is today.

It’s all too easy for separate property to become marital property. “Let’s say a party owns a home prior to getting married. However, once married, the mortgage on that home is paid using both parties’ income. This may be considered commingling, and that home might be converted into marital property,” according to the Mansouri Law Offices in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“An inheritance is normally considered separate property,” it adds. “However, if the inheritance is placed in a joint bank account shared by both spouses, it might then be considered a marital asset. So, how can spouses avoid commingling property? One way is to state whose property is whose in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.”

Given that you have children from previous relationships, your turbulent marital issues, your husband’s record of holding a low credit score and what you perceive as his furtive financial accounting, I agree that it would be better to keep your respective properties separate. After all, he appears to have managed that with his own property, and has his eye on your own.

What steps you take from this moment on will depend on whether you live in a community property or equitable distribution state. A quitclaim may not be enough to secure a new house purchase. A lawyer will decide on whether you need a postnuptial agreement and/or what funds you can use for such a purchase in the event that you do eventually divorce. 

Tread carefully. The “what’s yours is ours and what’s mine is mine” approach is warning enough.

By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including via third parties.

Check out the Moneyist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist regrets he cannot reply to questions individually.

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Teladoc Tumbled 38% After Big First-Quarter Loss. Is It Just a Pandemic Play?

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After pandemic drop, Canada’s detention of immigrants rises again By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Two closed Canadian border checkpoints are seen after it was announced that the border would close to “non-essential traffic” to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the U.S.-Canada border crossing at the Thousand Isla

By Anna Mehler Paperny

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada is locking up more people in immigration detention without charge after the numbers fell during the pandemic, government data obtained by Reuters shows.

Authorities cite an overall rise in foreign travelers amid easing restrictions but lawyers say their detained clients came to Canada years ago.

Canada held 206 people in immigration detention as of March 1, 2022 – a 28% increase compared with March 1 of the previous year. Immigration detainees have not been charged with crimes in Canada and 68% of detainees as of March 1 were locked up because Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) fears they are “unlikely to appear” at an immigration hearing, according to the data.

The rise puts Canada at odds with Amnesty International and other human rights groups that have urged Ottawa to end its use of indefinite immigration detention, noting CBSA has used factors such as a person’s mental illness as reason to detain them.

A CBSA spokesperson told Reuters that “when the number of entries (to Canada) goes up, an increase in detention is to be expected.” CBSA has said in the past it uses detention as a last resort.

A lawyer told Reuters her detained clients have been in Canada for years.

In the United Kingdom, too, immigration detention levels rose last year after dropping earlier in the pandemic, according to government statistics. Unlike Canada, the United States and Australia, European Union member states have limits on immigration detention and those limits cannot exceed six months.

The rise in detentions puts people at risk of contracting COVID-19 in harsh congregate settings, refugee lawyers say.

Julia Sande, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner with Amnesty, called the increase in detentions “disappointing but not surprising,” although she was reluctant to draw conclusions from limited data.

The number of immigration detainees in Canada dropped early in the pandemic, from a daily average of 301 in the fourth quarter (January through March) of 2019-20 to 126 in the first quarter (April through June) of 2020-21.

FEW NO-SHOWS AS DETENTIONS DROPPED

Detaining fewer people did not result in a significant increase in no-shows at immigration hearings – the most common reason for detention, according to Immigration and Refugee Board data.

The average number of no-shows as a percentage of admissibility hearings was about 5.5% in 2021, according to that data, compared to about 5.9% in 2019.

No-shows rose as high as 16% in October 2020, but a spokesperson for the Immigration and Refugee Board said this was due to people not receiving notifications when their hearings resumed after a pause in the pandemic.

Refugee lawyer Andrew Brouwer said the decline in detention earlier in the pandemic shows Canada does not need to lock up as many non-citizens.

“We didn’t see a bunch of no-shows. We didn’t see the sky fall … It for sure shows that the system can operate without throwing people in jail,” Brouwer said.

He added that detainees face harsh pandemic conditions in provincial jails – including extended lockdowns, sometimes with three people in a cell for 23 hours a day.

Refugee lawyer Swathi Sekhar said CBSA officials and the Immigration and Refugee Board members reviewing detentions took the risk of COVID-19 into account when deciding whether someone should be detained earlier in the pandemic but are doing so less now.

“Their position is that COVID is not a factor that should weigh in favor of release,” she said.

“We also see very, very perverse findings … [decision-makers] outright saying that individuals are going to be safer in jail.”

The Immigration and Refugee Board did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Nasdaq futures rise as market attempts comeback from April sell-off, Meta shares soar

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Stock futures rose in overnight trading as the market shook off the April sell-off and investors reacted positively to earnings from Meta Platforms.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 70 points or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.7% and Nasdaq 100 futures jumped 1.2%.

The moves came as shares of Meta surged more than 18% after hours following a beat on earnings but a miss on revenue, a sign that investors may see signs of relief in the beaten-up tech sector. Shares were down 48% on the year heading into the results.

Meanwhile, shares of Qualcomm gained 5.6% in extended trading on the back of strong earnings while PayPal rose 5% despite issuing weak guidance for the second quarter.

“I think a lot of people want to believe that earnings are going to pull us out of this, but earnings are not what got us into this,” SoFi’s Liz Young told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Wednesday. “… But the reality is there are so many macro headwinds still in front of us in the next 60 days that the market is just hard to impress.”

The after-hour activity followed a volatile regular trading session that saw the Nasdaq Composite stoop to its lowest level in 2022, as stocks looked to bounce back from a tech-led April sell-off. The index is down more than 12% since the start of April.

In Wednesday’s regular trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended at 12,488.93, after rising to 1.7% at session highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61.75 points, or 0.2%, to 33,301.93 propped up by gains from Visa and Microsoft, while the S&P 500 added 0.2% to 4,183.96.

Investors await big tech earnings on Thursday from Apple, Amazon and Twitter, along with results from Robinhood. Jobless claims are also due out Thursday.

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