Divorce/House

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  #1  
Old 08-25-10, 08:48 PM
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Divorce/House

Long story short; I wanted my ex-to-be, the availability to stay in our home since we lived next door to his parents. I made the decision before I moved out to sign over the house via quick deed. I also gave it to him in the final divorce papers also. My name is still on the mortgage, and as far as I know he has not filed the quick deed. We had agreed that if he had to sell the house, he would give me half. Question, since I basically gave him the house, I will assume if he sells the house, he has no legal obligation to pay me. In my state, your oral agreement is bonding, yet I don't know the whole aspect. Any thoughts?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-26-10, 03:29 AM
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You're in testy territory, so don't rely on ANY oral agreement. Your state may honor them, but he said, she said, oh no, he didn't say that, yes he did, no he didn't.....see? No written proof. Your quit claim deed will basically give over the house to him. Unless you have a decree stating half the sale price will revert to you, then you won't have standing.
Best thing is to make sure an attorney reviews all the agreements and puts them in the decree.
 
  #3  
Old 08-26-10, 04:15 AM
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Some confusing points . . . I’m assuming this is not a DIY divorce, and both parties had competent legal representation. If it’s a DIY divorce, I foresee major unresolved issues, disputes, and a costly mess for lawyers (and possibly a judge) to unravel. While I can’t speak to how divorces are made final in all 50 states, in my state an uncontested Dissolution of Marriage includes a property settlement agreement (or affirmative statement that there are no property issues). Generally, a court will accept the agreement, and renders a final judgment granting a divorce and approving settlement. If contested, a trial is held, and judge ends up doing the same thing but w/o requiring mutual consent of the parties.

You refer to spouse as ‘ex-to-be’ . . . you refer to ‘final divorce papers’. Given your use of terms, perhaps both of you have signed settlement and divorce papers, and they’re in process of waiting for a final judgment by a court making the divorce ‘final’. This link may help you understand the process in general terms: Understanding Divorce Decree - The Final Judgment Of Divorce.

It seems you signed a quit claim deed conveying your interest in property to your ex-to-be when moving out . . . an odd thing to do if there was not an overall settlement of property matters between both of you. In the context of ‘final divorce papers’, it then seems both of you negotiated a settlement, and you ‘give’ the house to him. In any negotiated settlement, there is ‘give’ and ‘take’ involved. It’s hard for me to imagine a credible argument regarding a claim that ex-to-be verbally gave you half the house when house is sold, and you have taken two affirmative actions, evidenced in writing, demonstrating otherwise . . . (i) quit claim deed you signed, and (ii) presumably a written property settlement agreement where you ‘gave’ him the house and probably documents what you ‘took’ in exchange. It’s impossible for ex-to-be to sell the house, and give you half. Presumably you mean half of the proceeds when it is sold . . . but this would require discussions between parties to understand what that means. For example, if he sells the property ten yrs. from now, and he made the full mortgage payments after the ‘divorce’, does he get any credit for the principle he paid-in? If he makes improvements, does he get any credit for the equity investment made? Do you expect to share in half of future gains on property after conveying your interest to him? Did you continue making half of the mortgage payments after moving out and until home is sold? If he has to do a short sale because the selling price is below the loan value or it goes into foreclosure, are you also claiming you’re on the hook if third parties sue him? If a judge assumes he’s dealing w/ at least semi-competent people, he’s going to doubt a claim based on 16 words. And should someone come up with a story detailing how various complexities would be resolved so that it might be viewed as fair and reasonable on it’s face, he’s going to wonder why no one (especially you) took no action to document these verbal complexities. Another question he will ask is when this alleged agreement took place . . . before the property settlement occurred or after. If you’re unhappy and having ‘buyers’ remorse w/ the property settlement, and it has not yet been declared final by a court, you should tell your lawyer to stop the train until both you and ex-to-be, and lawyers can thrash this out. You’re crazy if your strategy is to rely upon an oral agreement, and try to make it binding at some possible distant future point in time. Deal w/ it now!!

I also don’t understand issues like: (i) “as far as I know he has not filed the quick deed”, and (ii) “my name is still on the mortgage”. A well documented settlement agreement does not leave these important issues dangling, and leaves the parties wondering if anything has been done and who is responsible for getting it done. Lawyers are paid to take care of details so issues like this don’t slip through the cracks. As far as the quick claim deed being filed or not, a search of your public property records will evidence whether it has or not . . . you may also be able to access recorded mortgage documents to see if that has been modified to remove you as a responsible party.
 
  #4  
Old 08-26-10, 05:31 AM
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If it's not in the divorce agreement, it's probably not going to happen
 
  #5  
Old 08-26-10, 06:53 AM
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Second that.

And who do you suppose the parents will back up.
 
  #6  
Old 08-26-10, 08:30 AM
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Rob R., many many good points and thank you for your detail. As I said, long story short. Women draw things out, so I wanted to stick to the point. DIY divorce, loss our business and filed for bankruptcy. Only lawyer we could afford was his brother in law, which did look over my papers before they were filed. Yes, he was partial at that time. Complicated story! Regardless, I have no plans to challenge, it was basically a question, to which I assumed was final. I did what I did in an act of compassion, not self preservation. And yes, many people close to me told me I was crazy, yet I felt I screwed up his life pretty bad by asking for a divorce, then wanted to work it out, told him I needed to move out (to my parents, not another man) to heal. He was the one that ended up telling me he wanted to get it done and over with. That's when I signed my papers. Should be finalized by end of September. Thank you all for your input.
 
  #7  
Old 08-26-10, 10:42 AM
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Hey chilly.az.girl,

First, I’m very sorry for the pain you’ve been through. Divorce is tough for caring people, and business problems and bankruptcy added to it only compounds grief, frustration, and evokes a whirlwind of other emotions. Make plenty of time for yourself to go through the healing process, and being able to confide in close friends and family often helps. If you’re spiritually connected, that too is a great healer.

You are an unusual person to feel any responsibility, as many point the finger at the other person as being fully at fault. Occasionally that may be the case but most often not . . . dwelling on the past and/or playing the blame game is counterproductive, and only allows the other person to control our thoughts and zaps energy that could be more productively applied at rebuilding a future.

While I suspect some current loose ends will fall into place as the process unfolds, please make sure action is taken to remove yourself as a cosigner on the mortgage note. By quit claiming your interest in the property to him, you have acted in good faith, and seemingly been more than fair . You ought to be completely off the hook for any home related responsibilities, including mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance, and the like. You don’t want to find out down the road that your credit score is negatively impacted if still shown on the note, or a suit is filed by the lender with you named as a co-defendant .

You seem like a fine lady, and I’m sure with your attitude, you’ll look back someday and realize that these unfortunate set of experiences propelled you into a higher plane of self awareness and peace of mind. Many exceptionally ‘successful’ people have encountered dark times and perceived failure, only to progress way beyond where they were when encountering those difficulties. While I can’t explain it, tragic events have a way of opening the mind w/ a thirst for new ideas. Harness that energy, and make it work for you!

Best of luck, Rob .
 
  #8  
Old 08-26-10, 11:06 AM
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Rob R., your empathy shines through your words and are refreshing. I do have a foundation in God. I can truly say that I would not have survived as well without Him. I have a few close friends who have been supportive and am blessed because of their friendships.

I will look into getting my name off the mortage with the final papers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Today you have been a blessing to me.
 
  #9  
Old 08-26-10, 11:49 AM
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From my experience in a similar situation...your name probably cannot come off the mortgage unless he refinances and changes it at that time....might be tough in these times. At least thats the way it worked with my mortgage company.

I couldn't afford the fee's when I split from my ex-wife and it was still too painful to even talk to her as well. She signed a quit claim (?) so that it could be filed as she wanted to buy a condo and wasn't able with her name on our mortgage.

Well..11 yrs later (yeah...I know) when my current wife and I went to sell...I had to play detective to find my ex (good thing property tax records are public record) and luckily she was in a better position than I. Other than getting her to the office to sign documents multiple times...it went smoothly. The check for the money at closing was made out in both our names and since we had no joint accounts, she had to physically take it to the bank, show ID and deposit it in my account.

Again...I was very lucky that she wasn't hateful (not that she should have been) or hurting financially as I'm sure (and was legally advised) that if she demanded some payment she most likely would have gotten it. Probably not 1/2, as she had never made any payments since the split, but some as we were married 5 yrs after the purchase. It would have been messy, expensive, and prolonged....but she could have gotten some...and I'd have been w/o for the entire time.
 
  #10  
Old 08-26-10, 08:41 PM
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Gunguy45, thank you for sharing your own personal experience, not many men are willing to do so. The info regarding the mortgage is helpful. Thanks again all for your input.
 
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