My wife has recently asked me for a divorce after her infidelity. We are trying to keep it civil, thus seeking mediation rather than a divorce trial in court. Both of our names are on the marital home. Is there some sort of signed agreement that we can make that would eliminate me having to give her half of the proceeds, should I sell the house in the next year or two? Is there any way to maybe keep her name on the loan if I need another one, but not have to ever give her half of the proceeds if and when I sell the house?
Also, if her and I are in total agreement on splitting up our debt, assets, etc., do we even need mediation or legal representation or can we handle it pro se?
It is always best to consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the laws of Colorado. Cordell & Cordell has attorneys located in Colorado.
The only document you can have that would give you absolute right to all the equity in the home is the Judgment of Dissolution. You two can agree that she will waive her right to any equity in the home. If she is willing to do that then whenever you sell the home then the equity is yours. That also means that if you sell the home for a loss then you will be fully responsible for that as well.
The problem with leaving her name on the home is that it will make it difficult to buy another home while her name is still on it. You may want to look into something called a loan assumption. A lot of mortgage companies nowadays have this option in order to remove someone’s name off the mortgage at a greatly reduced price.
You do not need to have legal representation to obtain a divorce. You can represent yourself pro se (without an attorney) and file the proper documents on your own. However, most courts will hold a pro se litigant to the same standards as a licensed attorney in regards to proper form of the documents etc. Check your local courts’ website to see if they have documents on there to help you out.
Lisa Hansen is a Senior Attorney in the Kansas City office of Cordell & Cordell, where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Hansen is licensed to practice in the state of Missouri. Ms. Hansen received her Bachelors in Social Work from University of Nevada, Reno, her Masters in Social Work from University of Kansas, and her Juris Doctor from University of Missouri, Kansas City.