Interium Distribution: House awarded to ex

Hi! Here’s my situation:

DOS: 3/12/21
Marital Home: Jointly owned - both names are on loan and both on deed

My ex is currently living in the marital home and the judge awarded the house to her. There were no other details determined by the judge in the hearing (I.e. how long she has to refinance the mortgage, etc.); NOTHING other than ‘it’s hers’. We do have a decent amount of equity in the home and we are almost done with the last piece of ED (valuing her Business).

She caught up on the mortgage payments just after the hearing. Her attorney sent me an Order that contains tons of details that are in her favor (I.e. nothing about refinancing the mortgage and/or selling, etc) as well as blatent lies on items related to the mortgage (I.e. the SHE was the one who applied for a forebearance and kept up with the monthly check-ins for 6 months, but in reality I was the one who did all of that).

Another piece that is really throwing me off is that her attorney sent over a Deed of Trust for me to sign! To my understanding, this would completely remove me from the mortgage (ownership of the property), but I would still be on the mortgage and as far as the Order is concerned, I could be on the mortgage indefinitely (or until she decides to sell in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20+ years).

I feel like the lies in the Order and the Deed of Trust are going to screw me over somehow when it comes to the ED hearing. She has been telling me for over a year that I will not be getting any part of the house and I feel like her attorneys are using a strategy to somehow make that happen.

Am I missing something here? Can they force me to sign a Deed of Trust without any stipulations of getting my name off the mortgage? Do I need to petition the court for something?

Any advice/insight would be helpful!

Thank you!

If you had an interim distribution hearing where the judge distributed the house to her, then the judge would not have necessarily also determined that she refinance the mortgage. That would come during final equitable distribution.

Typically in a final equitable distribution order or settlement the party keeping the house would be required to refinance the mortgage to remove the other party’s name within a specified period of time (usually 90-180 days after the entry of the order or execution of the separation agreement), and if the party keeping the house can’t refinance in that time period or doesn’t refinance in that time period, then there is a forced sell provision of the home in order to pay off the mortgage and remove the other party’s name.

A quitclaim deed or special warranty deed would be necessary to remove your name from the title/ownership of the home. No deed will remove your name from the mortgage. Only a refinance or satisfaction of the loan will do that.

If you only had an interim distribution hearing, then you will want to make sure that any marital interest you have in the home is preserved for further hearing.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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