The intent of parties who were divorced, as shown in their property settlement agreement, is central to determining the parties' intent with respect to any concurrent estates.
Husband and wife divorced and the wife remained in the house pursuant to a divorce property settlement agreement, which stated that the house would remain in both parties' names until such time as it was sold pursuant to the property agreement. When wife died, husband attempted to claim entirety of house under a joint tenancy theory.
Did the divorce property settlement agreement have the effect of converting the joint tenancy into a tenancy in common?
The Court disagreed, holding that property settlement ended the joint tenancy and instead converted it to a tenancy in common. The Court based the decision on the fact that it was the parties' intent in a divorce to divide their property, and as such this intent was determinative. Thus, the ex husband was not entitled to gain all of deceased wife's property.