Absolute Divorce only issue left is the house


#1

We have divided everything and even have a parenting agreement in place for our 5 yr old son. I want to file for the divorce but want to know what happens if the only thing we have not settled on is the house. I bought the house, myself 12 years ago and added him to the dead and the mortgage just over 5 years ago when we married, then had our son. I left due to his alcoholism, with our son. He has continued to live in the house and make the payments. If I go ahead with the divorce but dont do anything about the home, isn’t it still both of ours, no matter what. Until he defaults on payments or tries to sell it. My name is still on everything and I realize that I would still be responsible for it. I would rather it stay that way and be able to settle the home issue later. I just want the divorce now. I know he cannot refinance the home and will just continue to live there as long as he can. I just dont’ want to lose my rights to my house. I can do my own divorce but am not sure about doing an equitable distribution, and like I said, it would only be for the house. Neither of us have money for a lawyer, even if it is just to settle the house issue. Thank you!


#2

The home would remain jointly owned after divorce, but the ownership would change from tenants by the entirely to tenants in common. Each of you would have a 50% interest in the home. In order to divide the same you would have to file an action for partition to get your share of the home (by forcing a sale or having him refinance and buy you out). It is more difficult to partition a property through the laws of real property than it is to have a division through the laws of Equitable Distribution.
I would suggest you execute a separation agreement that outlines what will happen to the house and the mortgage, or file a claim for ED to preserve your rights to have the court make a distribution of the home pursuant to the law of equitable distribution.