My wife left in November of last year to be with another man. Before leaving, she hid money and let all of the bills go unpaid. She handled all of the finances throughout our 10 years together, and I had no idea until I looked at our online bank statements just days before she left. Every utility in the house was shut off within two weeks of her leaving, and I had no paperwork or bills concerning any of it. Just for an example, I had to pay over $500 just to get the electricity turned back on… which I actually had to BORROW part of that from her. I’ve paid EVERYTHING toward the house since then, including the whole mortgage. I’m not complaining, since I’m the one living there, but now she is telling me that I have to be ready to move out when the divorce is done in November. I know you usually have to sell and split the equity, but are you always forced to leave/sell as soon as the divorce goes through? I’m just now getting back on my feet, so to speak. I finally have the place fixed up again and I want to stay here. I can’t find a comparable rental in the same price range as my mortgage, and I really can’t afford the extra expense now. We have comparable earnings and share 50/50 custody of the children, if it makes any difference.
If you chose to keep the house you may. Depending on what other assets and debts make up the marital estate you will likely have to puy her out for her share of the equity in the home, and then refinance the loan into a loan in your sole and separate name.
She cannot force you to leave the home, or even place it on the market, only a judge can do that.
If the house was purchased during the marriage, it is marital property and subject to equitable distribution. You cannot “choose” to keep the house if your ex wife disagrees since she has just as much claim to it as you do. A judge can order the property sold and the proceeds split evenly and this is usually what happens in the event of a disagreement. Your best bet would be to get your “wife” to agree to a buyout and then the house would be your sole property. Her adultery has no bearing on property settlement and with incomes being pretty much equal, alimony will not be an issue. At this time, she cannot force you out of the house since she is the one who left, but until the case is settled, she does a claim on the house if it is marital property.