Divorce Solutions

Question #132

I am in Wisconsin. I recently got divorced, and my ex-husband is taking over the house that we purchased together at the end of last year. It is in the divorce papers that he is getting the house. However, there is nothing that states he has to refinance by a specific date to have my name removed from the mortgage. It seems as though that he just keeps putting it off and will not refinance, and he has been asking me for money since my name is still on the mortgage even though I have not been living there for over six months now. What are my legal rights? Is there anything I can do to force him to refinance the house or any type of paperwork that can be completed stating that I am no longer financially responsible?

This problem should have been addressed at the time when you agreed to deed over to your spouse your interest in the house. Not just marital assets must be divided at the time of separation but also the marital debts, of which the mortgage is one. Your attorney should have addressed this issue when you originally agreed to deed over your interest in the house. At this point, you remain obligated on the mortgage, and the only way that you can have your husband assume the entire mortgage is to go back into court and address the issue with the judge.

I cannot overemphasize the necessity to have proper legal counsel experienced in matrimonial matters in the jurisdiction in which you file so that such matters will not come back to haunt you after the papers have been filed. Once again, I must reiterate that divorce is too serious a matter to leave to self-help.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions