I Need Advice Regarding a Home Shared by Two Divorced Spouses

Updated on January 20, 2010
S.D. asks from Mount Laurel, NJ
8 answers

I own a home with my ex. He moved out almost one year ago (thank goodness). He recently stopped paying his share of the mortgage. Our agreement was to split the mortgage until the house sells. Of course the market is horrible. He blames me for the house not selling. I guess I have the power to change the real estate market. Ialso had to put in a new heater and he refuses to pay his half. We agreed to split all repairs. I pay all of the gas, electric etc. since I live there with my kids. By him not paying his share of the mortgage he is basically saying "I don't care about my credit or losing the home". Well, I do. I want to know if a judge can force him to sign over the house to me, so my credit is not ruined and I don't lose the house since I am current with my mortgage payments.

Thank you.

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answers from Allentown on

Hi, S.:

Having a college student share the house?

Put an ad on craig's list. Female preferred....

Good luck. D.

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answers from Chicago on

your ex can be forced to quit claim the house over to you ( this takes his name off the title), but you would have to refinance to get his name off the mortgage. In order for your credit not to be ruined, you have to make the entire mortgage payment. The mortgage company wont care about which half is making their mortgage payment, they only care about the entire mortgage payment. So if you go to a judge & say "I will make the entire" mortgage payment then the judge will more than likely have your ex quit claim the house to you.



answers from Philadelphia on

S. D are you planning on keeping the house or are you waiting for a sale? If a sale is the case then why dont you rent it out so that the mortgage is up to date and you can move on with your life while waiting for the economy to improve? Good luck.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Do you want to buy the home? Can you swing the payment on your half of the value and buy him out? You probably need to talk to your attorney about this.



answers from Allentown on

Do you have a divorce attorney?
Since the children reside with you are you gettng child support? Or even spousal?

I'm not sure a judge could legally order him to sign over the home. I think you'd have to buy him out. Or I'm sure there is a way to work it. Perhaps instead of him paying child/spousal support for x amount of years that would be his share.
In the meantime I'd contact your mortgage co & explain the situation. Possibly try a modification.
Wishing you the best!



answers from Allentown on

any legal document? do you have court ordered support/alimony?

hOW IS HOUSE OWNED? if in both names your stuck. Can you afford the house on your own? else you might want to give your half back to bank and move into more affordable living.

Sadly some dads jsut do this thinking htey screwing their exs not realizing the affect on the kids.

contact lawyer asap



answers from Harrisburg on

I don't think he can be forced to sell his half to you, but he can forced to pay half the mortgage and repairs since his name is on the mortage. That's a legal document, period. Just remind him that when the house does sell you'll be subtracting the amount he already owes for his share. You're expected to pay utilities and such since you're the one living there and he's not. Where's you divorce laywer in all of this? Is it documented that he agreed to pay half or was it verbal? See a lawyer.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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answers from Philadelphia on

Hi S., all the advice you have received is very good, however, I hear you about the "barely living paycheck to paycheck" and contacting a lawyer takes money.

If you think you could get your lawyer's fees to be paid by your ex - since he is the one creating the situation that necessitates you needing a lawyer - then you should do that, and explain your financial situation to them up front.

If you don't think you can get the $$ out of him, either for the mortgage, the repairs, much less the attorney fees, (maybe he really doesn't have it?) there are a couple of things you could do. In order to document your attempts to hold him to his end of the deal, you should first send him a registered letter, outlining the facts about money owed, and give him a reasonable time frame to respond to you in writing, say 15 days, or you will pursue legal action against him. It might be fruitless if he really doesn't have the money, but you will be documenting your position if he miraculously hits the powerball lotto. From here, it depends on how you two agreed on your payment arrangements.

If you have it spelled out in your divorce agreement how those particular expenses are to be paid, then you can file a "Motion for Enforcement" pro-se, (which means without legal representation) to have your Divorce Settlement enforced in court. The county that granted your divorce can provide you with the Motion paperwork, and instructions on how to fill it out and file it with them. There is a fee, but I am not certain what it is now. ($50?) Let me say that when I had to do this, the people at the clerk's office in Camden County were really helpful, and these are people who are beyond overworked, if you recall the family courtrooms busting at the seams.)

Another idea would be to barter for the services, although it could take some time to get that rolling. You could advertise for a few hours of legal help preparing documents, in exchange for something you have or do. (that sounds suggestive, but I think you know I mean legal bartering...!)

One more thing, you could put a post on Craigslist for legal assistance if you don't think you could prepare the pro-se documents yourself.

I was a divorced, single mom of 2 boys for 8 years, without any child support or ANY $$ from their father, so I understand the tight finances. My wonderful parents were kind and generous to us, and that is the only way we didn't end up on the streets. I hope this gets worked out for you before too much damage is done. Stay strong.

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