Divorc/Property Settlement


My husband served with a complaint for divorce. We own a home that was purchased four years prior to marriage. I want him to either buy me out if there is any equity in the home or just refinance taking me off the mortgage. The time is almost up for me to answer his complaint. If I don’t answer and the divorce is granted, how does this affect how we settle the property. My name is still on the deed. Please help!!!


You need to answer and also put in a claim for equitable distribution. Without and ED request done BEFORE divorce is granted, you will lose your right to property division.


You will need to file an answer to the divorce complaint and include a claim for Equitable Distribution to deal with the property issues. If the home was purchased before the marriage by your spouse it is separate property unless he actually deeded the home to the both of you. (the deed is different from the deed of trust, which relates only to the mortgage debt)
If the home is his separate property, depending on the circumstances of your case there may be a substantial martial portion of equity, to which you are entitled to receive half. If the time passes for you to answer the complaint and you do not have a claim pending for equitable distribution you will lose your rights to pursue the same. I suggest you meet with an attorney immediately to ensure your rights are protected.


We purchased the home together before marriage. I am a co-borrower on the loan. I am wondering if no settlement on the property has been made prior to divorce will my rights to the home remain the same?


You will still be half owner of the home, however the legal route to get your half of the equity will proceed via real property law in a action for partition which can be very time consuming and costly. It is better to file your action for ED before the divorce goes through.