No marriage decree about mortage


#1

So, a few years ago I filed for an uncontested divorce because my then soon-to-be ex wife never made an attempt to divorce. We didn’t put any thought into the property we own and the fact that we are both on the deed and the mortage is still relevant. I paid her for over a year to help her get on her feet before I started seeking divorce. Anyways, we never came to a written agreement and the divorce was finalized leaving this still up in the air. I have moved out of state. She had mentioned that she had wanted me to sign a quit-claim deed, but I refuse because I will still be on the loan for years to come. She has been in the house since then and making the payments. We are both in a bind because I never had a written agreement stating she had to refinance, but she never had an agreement to get me off of the deed. Now, I still have half the rights to the property don’t I? If she refuses to refinance, can I get my share out of it when it is paid off? Can I even take her to court now to get her to relieve me from the mortage loan? I still should be able to return to the house as I see fit, since I am on the loan and deed too. I was wondering if that would be enough leverage to get her motivated to refinance? She didn’t have good credit when we divorced so I didn’t figure she could refinance then anyways. I was wondering if I even have the legal rights to settle this in court now since the divorce is final.


#2

This is a prime example of why you should settle property before divorce. After divorce, property goes as titled so you are eligible to receive half the equity in the property but forcing refinance could be difficult. You do not have the right to file an equitable distribution claim, but you could seek partition of the land. Be careful doing so though. The court will likely auction the property, and any equity may be lost.

I would refrain from going to the property unannounced and uninvited as you may be charged with criminal domestic trespass.