In the original divorce decree, the agreement between my ex and I was that I would give her the house. The hope was that this would keep our kids in a familiar environment.
However, she never sold the house and never took it out of my name. After a year of sporadic mortgage payments on her end, she realized she couldn’t afford the mortgage.
I have now moved back into the house and taken over payments, but what do I need to do to get the house legally back under my name?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.
A marital settlement agreement is considered to be a contract between former spouses and is generally governed by both family law and contract principles.
Because a marital settlement agreement is also bound by contract principles, if you make any agreed-upon changes to the agreement, those changes should be in the same format as the original contract, i.e. in writing, signed by both parties and submitted to the court if this is how it was created and submitted initially.
If the deed and mortgage remained in your name, the only thing that you should have to do is remove your ex-wife’s name.
As long as her name is still associated with the property, she has ownership interests in the property and can use the property as collateral against a personal loan or the like.
I would also complete a title search to ensure that no liens have been placed against the property since the marital settlement agreement was entered.
If there have been any liens placed on the residence, you should address those in the addendum to the marital settlement agreement.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.