Selling House/Splitting (Uneven) Equity

Not without taking legal action. If that is his attitude why would he suddenly agree to split it unequally? You may get an unequal distribution, but you will have to go to court to get it.

When you say he stalled the court process… you mean that you had mediation then you had a court date for ED, but somehow it got delayed?

I assume you live in the house.

What I understand is that if you go to court and a judge divides the equity, lets say 60/40 (60% to you 40% to him) he won’t say “give it to him when the house sells”. He will say “give it to him”. You will be given some reasonable time to come up with the money. That may mean getting another mortgage. So you would end up with the house and 2 mortgages.

I would not be too eager to go to court.


What I mean by “stalled the court process” is; he filed 2 divorce complaints against me, and with every court date (14 of 'em) the judge does not have time to hear our case, or the plaintiff’s lawyer is tied up in a first degree murder trial (I’m not kidding) - and it gets continued - to another court date.
We have been to custody mediation (2x) to no avail, but have not even been scheduled for eq. distribution mediation.

His lawyer has a reputation (I’ve learned) for operating this way; have the case dragged on endlessly, until the defendent just gives up.
It’s a shame that the Franklin County judicial system allows this to happen.
Yes ~ I am still in the house. And you are correct, my former husband will not just ‘agree’ to split the profit from the sale of the house unequally.

So, I guess I’m trying to understand what I will have to do AFTER he simply takes half of the profits. When he hasn’t paid on the mortgage since 2006.

And No ~ I am not eager to go to court. However, my former husband is quite at home there.


Do you have a lawyer too?

You need to file for ED before divorce is granted or you’ll lose that opportunity afterthefact.

I am also curious about the rights to equity. It SEEMS that he would have right to 1/2 the equity at the time of SEPARATION, not divorce. If you’ve been paying the mortgage yourself, then it seems you should receive all the benefits from that after the date of separation.

I would also think that 14 continuances should warrant a move for a ‘speedy trial’? (there is a term for this—I just can’t remember it). I’ve heard of cases with 5 or 6 continuances, but not 14. Why has he filed 2 divorce complaints against you?

If you don’t have a lawyer, you need a good one. Sounds like you’re going to have to fight fire with fire.

It seems we are in somewhat of the same boat…maybe not the same boat but definitely on the same lake! Johnston County is the same way. My boyfriend’s ex abandoned him taking all the belongings, children, and money. She left him financially ruined and the house going into foreclosure. Since we have been together, we have worked together to get the pmnts caught up. She has not paid anything towards the mortgage or the upkeep of the house but claims that she should get half the proceeds when the house sells. We were scheduled for an ED hearing in October; her atty continued for one week; the Friday before the hearing, his ex went and filed bankruptcy! Now all the marital debt is his responsibility along with the house. She is still demanding half the proceeds from the sale of the house. Right now we are in a waiting game…can’t move forward until her bankruptcy is discharged (3 months). She works for an atty and is getting free legal advice and filed her bankruptcy pro se. Hopefully, when we do go to the ED hearing the judge will rule in his favor and give him all the equity in the house since she has put all the debt off on him.


I do have a lawyer, and I have counter-filed eq. distribution…last year at this time, I believe. I don’t know what the rights to equity are ~ that’s why I’m asking the lawyer on this site.
I guess I’m just pondering how risky it is to sell the house without any eq. distribution in place.
When I go back to court on 11/17, I will ask about a “speedy trial”.
Jaini, it does sound like we are in very similar boats.
My former husband recently filed for bankruptcy, discharging the house. But I’m being told because his name is on the deed, he still has to give his consent to sell (which he isn’t right now - he won’t give the realtor a selling price).
Also, he works in law enforcement. He knows the system, much like your boyfriend’s ex.

You are correct on the title. For you to sale you must be able to present the new owners with a clean title. He must sign a quit claim deed. This will not remove his marital interest in the house. That is, he will still be entitled to half of the equity.

When you say that he filed bankruptcy is is discharged from the house, you mean that he got out of paying the mortgage. Right? That could be in your favor.

I believe the stalling tactics will eventually come to an end. A judge will eventually tell them to put up or shut up. He could award it all to you summarily. Hard to say.

Also if you both do agree on selling the house, the housing market is in the tank. My GF has been divorced for over 2 years and she lives in fear that her Ex will file for bankruptcy leaving her to pay the entire mortage and all the rest of their joint which they agreed to pay off with the sale of the house.

Generally if the two of you cannot agree on how to split the fund the closing attorney will hold the funds in trust until you agree. If you cannot get him to agree the only way to get back the additional funds you are entitled to is to go to court and get an order requiring the funds be split that way.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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Thank You Ms. Nevicosi! That’s actually reassuring.
don5327, he got out of paying the mortgage by walking out the door in June '06. And, by having our case continued indefinitely.
He filed bankruptcy recently, to get out of a small claims case against him (from someone else), and other various debt.
His name remains on the mortgage loan - bankruptcy or not.
I agree with you that the stalling will have to end one day; as I am not giving up.
The housing market IS pretty bad for a seller, but I know there are willing buyers out there. We have someone interested in buying our house…now all that I need is a cooperative ex to seal the deal.
No one should live in fear; why not suggest that your GF give the market a test? Just to see if anyone is interested in buying? She could go on, and do it herself (“make me move”). I know for myself, it will be a HUGE relief to get out of this joint mortgage contract with an unstable person.


We are in the process of selling our jointly owned house. I have been separated for 2.5 years; my husband filed for divorce, and has proceeded to stall the court process (you can do that in Franklin County).
So, after paying the mortgage entirely by myself for 2.5 years, he is stating that any profits from the sale should be split equally.
We have nothing on the books (except for a temp. visitation order), regarding eq. distribution.
If you are wondering how that’s possible, I have been to court 14 times ~ but our case just gets continued.

My question is this:
How do we split the profit from the house fairly (unequally in my favor) without any court order regarding the sale of the house? And if he takes half of the profit, is there some way to get back my 5 years of equity to his 2.5 years?

Thank You!