Never did ED. What about my house?


#1

My ex and I are divorced (final as of December of 2010), but we never did equitable distribution. He took his things from the house and I stayed here with the kids. We had an informal agreement that I would keep the house. We paid the mortgage out of our joint account until the divorce was final and I’ve been paying the mortgage out of my individual account since then. His name is still on the deed and mortgage.

My ex has now decided not to pay this month’s child support and I’m considering going to Child Support Enforcement, but am concerned he might retaliate by making an issue about the house. Can he try to take the house or make some kind of claim against it?


#2

Unfortunately, your husband can still seek an ownership interest in the house since he remains on the deed. His remedy at law will be to seek a judicial partition of the real estate under property law. Of course, he may be okay with signing the deed over to you since that is what you informally agreed upon (you keeping the house). However, do not remove him from the mortgage though without him signing over the deed first. If you are concerned about him seeking a partition, please contact a general civil attorney as they routinely handle matters such as this.


#3

So, my ex is now threatening to try and take the house, or force me to sell. Again, I’ve been paying the mortgage on my own since December of 2010, and I live here with our two children. The house is underwater. I think his purpose here is to get off the mortgage so he can purchase a home with his new wife (sometime in the future, but not in the next year or two). I can’t refinance as my credit is still recovering from when we were married and he fell behind on the mortgage (I’ve since caught it up).

Is there any chance that he can force me to sell the house, given that any sale would just mean we would have to come to the table with money to satisfy the mortgage? There’s nothing in our divorce about ED at all, much less about the house or removing his name from the mortgage.


#4

You two will continue to legally own half of the house, together as tenants-in-common. If he were to try to force a sale, his only remedy now since he cannot file for ED woud be to hire a real property attorney and possibly seek a judicial partition. A Quiet Title action may be applicable to your case, but a real property attorney would best be able to discuss with you your options in that event.

I cannot predict the outcome of any one case, but if you are able to afford the home and it is not affecting or harming your ex’s credit, and there is no equity to divide you have a better chance at winning an argument that you be allowed to retain the home for a longer period of time rather than forcing a sale now.


#5

He’s bringing this up again, saying that it’s harming his credit, and that he needs to force the sale to be able to buy another house. We were three payments behind when he stopped paying on the house (almost 18 months ago), and I’m current now. Can he force a sale?

If we were in a negative equity situation back then (and still are), should I pursue a quiet title action to have him removed from the deed so he can’t threaten me any more?