Trying to do things the easy way


#1

My wife and I have been seperated for a little over a year. We did not do a seperation agreement. I am the one who moved out. We have 3 kids one is 19 in college. The son 13 lives with me. Daughter 7 lives with her mom.

She is staying in the house we bought together 10 years ago. I want her to have the house, no problem on my end with that. There is approx. 25K in equity. Im not even concerned with the equity. Both of us have indicated to do as simple an uncontested divorce as possible.

She has mentioned to me about meeting with her lawyer to sign the house over to her. This is making me a little nervous. It guarantees i cannot do anything after i sign it over. Yet i have no such guarantees. She has said she will not mess with my retirement. She seems like she wants this to go easy like i do.

The reason i am concerned is this gives her a guarantte in writing. I’m worried she could try to get my son back with her(sugarcoat him), then go the lawyer route and hit me for child support. The equity is my only ace in the hole.
I do realize that if i go after the equity, she will get me in other ways. Such as when my son is 18 and my last daughter is only 12 i’m sure she would go after max child support for my daughter. So i feel like i’d rather not mess with equity route, may cost me more in the long run.

As i said she wants to do a simple uncontested divorce and i prefer that too. I just feel nervous. Help.

By the way married about 18 years. She made 10K more than me last year.


#2

Speaking from experience (and I’m sure many will agree)

Do NOT sign ANYTHING property-wise until you have a separation agreement done. If she wants a civil divorce, she should not give you a hard time. This way you can SAY…I won’t touch this, I’ll give you this, you give me that…and so forth. Custody and Child support can be dealt with also.

Please don’t take anyone’s ‘word’ as an agreement. Don’t sign anything you’re not comfortable with and PLEASE do not go unrepresented legally.

I hope your STBX IS reasonable and truly wants to do this nicely and civily…but money brings out the greed in many folk. Don’t sign the house over yet…get an agreement first. That is how you protect yourself. It soulds as if you already have some ‘doubt’ to her sincerity with the words that you use.


#3

I agree with comingclean2 wholeheartedly. The only thing I would add is when you put items into a separation agreement (that you will have your own lawyer look over before signing), don’t agree to anything that you may not be able to do in the future.

For instance, paying for college for the children. Don’t make a blanket statement that you will pay all college expenses. On the surface it sounds good, but what happens should your child get into Harvard and you become unemployed? Maybe its unlikely, but it could happen and now you’re on the hook for the money.

If you violate any of the terms of the agreement you can be taken to court for breach and not only have to pay for that breach, but your STBXs attorney’s fees that she incurred while suing you. Keep this in mind when you agree to stuff.


#4

I recommend you have a separation agreement drafted that awards the home to her, and your retirement accounts to you. I do not recommend that you deed the house to her without having a separation agreement protecting your rights and ensuring the quid pro quo you have verbally agreed to stands. Further, any separation agreement which award her the home should require her to refinance the loan on the home and remove you from the financial liability.
As for child support, there is no way to prevent her from suing you for child support at any point in time, even after divorce. Any separation agreement you sign or have drafted should include specific language with respect to child support as well.