I have been married for nine years. My wife and I bought a house four years ago. We owned a town house before that in which my wife provided the down payment. I did the research on the location and received special financing and amenities because of being a state employee. We sold the town home and made enough money to put a down payment on the present home. Since the housing market collapse the value of our home has gone down. Also, since my wife makes 3-4 times what I make, she pays a larger portion of the mortgage. Since we are preparing to separate she has said that she wants to keep the house and that I can just consider the money I paid into it as rent or we could sell it. I have no problem selling it but she insists that I still make payments and I will also have to pay rent somewhere else. I cannot afford to do this. Again, she has the money to get a lawyer and force this issue. I really do not have the funds to do so.
What can I do? I can’t walk away with nothing.
You have a marital interest in this home since it was your primary residence during the marriage. You should not sign over anything to her unless you are being offered a settlement. You should try to work out a separation agreement with her on the property. You don’t have to pay rent elsewhere and half of the mortgage, especially since she makes substantially more than you do. Of course, the only thing you want to ensure though is that the mortgage is being paid by her since your credit could be adversely affected. For what it’s worth, you could have a case for alimony and post-separation support if she is making 3-4 times what you earn. If she wants to keep the house and have you remove your name from the deed, then you need her to re-finance the house into her sole name first. She should then pay half of the estimated equity in the home to you before you give up your rights to the property. If she doesn’t want to cooperate with you, then you really do need to meet with a lawyer to create a plan of action and explain your rights.
Thank you so much for your answer and time.
You are welcome! Good luck to you.