What to do about house with no signed agreement?


I’ve been separated now for 7.5 months and we do not have a signed separation agreement. We went through mediation and updated the draft ourselves with some additional points that I thought we agreed upon. My stbx still won’t sign it however because he has changes he wants to make but hasn’t told me what they are. This has been going on for several months now, and I’m not convinced we will ever have an agreement since the date on which I can file is coming up relatively soon.

I am living in what was our marital home, where we are both on the deed and only I am on the mortgage. The agreement says we’re going to sell the house or if it doesn’t sell within a certain timeframe I’ll buy him out at the appraised value. It also states what I’m paying for alimony, as he was the dependent spouse and I had an affair. It also has the custody and visitation schedules laid out. And lastly it has what I owe him from my 401k in the form of a QDRO.

If he never signs the agreement, in many ways it works in my favor bc there is then no claim to alimony or to my 401k. However I would then have exposure from a custody and house perspective. I know I could file an ED claim and custody claim but he says if I do that, he’ll file a claim for alimony due to the affair and ask for a lot. I don’t have any disposable income after bills are paid but I still dread the whole process and would rather handle this all without the courts.

Here is my latest thought that I wanted to run by an expert:

  1. Could we handle me buying him out in a separate transaction and table the rest for when he is ready to tell me what his counterpoints are? I have an appraisal scheduled for Wednesday to see what the home is worth and will offer him half the equity based on that appraisal. What forms would we use? Would I just have something drawn up by a real estate attorney?

  2. Could I then separate out the custody/visitation part of the agreement and execute it without the alimony portion? Then we could sign the other alimony/ED agreement as it is finalized? We are doing the agreements ourselves so I am not sure if you are allowed to have multiple ones.

What else would be recommended in my scenario?


You can handle the buy out at any time, just be sure that your ex executes a Special Warranty Deed releasing all of his ownership in the home to you, and have the same properly recorded with the register of deeds. It is not necessary that a real estate attorney draw up the deed, however you should have a competent attorney draft the deed for you, as there is certain language that needs to be included in the deed aside from the description of the property.

Custody and visitation can always be negotiated and agreed upon separate from all other aspects of separation.