Can I Refuse My Co-Owner’s Kids the Right to Access Our Property?

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My ex-husband and his brother bought a piece of land together years ago. His brother has since married and has stepkids. Does my ex have the right to kick the kids and their friends off the property? It is empty land with a pond. It was agreed on years ago when they bought that it no one would allow anyone else to go out there, including kids, unless one of the brothers is there. My ex is going to deed it to our kids and if this happens will they have the right to kick them off. I guess what I am wondering is does it have to be agreed by both parties who goes out there and can my ex call the law to have the step-kids removed if they are by themselves. Thanks.

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Unless they specify otherwise, co-owners usually have an “undivided” interest in the property. That means that each co-owner can use the entire property as an owner normally would, so long as it doesn’t unduly interfere with the other owner’s use. That use would include the right to allow guests (such as children) use the property.

The practical question, then, is whether the agreement between the parties is in writing. If so, you can probably enforce it, but if not, good luck. It’s almost certain that the brother will remember their agreement differently.

Even if the agreement is in writing, you may not be able to get the police to enforce it, as they will view this as a “civil matter,” meaning that you can sue. Better to try to hammer out an agreement that both sides can work with, or if you can’t, then sell.

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Author: House Attorney