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Still named on the deed or mortgage after divorce?

Realty issues may be complicated even at the best of times. When California couples divorce, there are no hard and fast rules that apply to everyone. While it may be more common to deal conclusively with realty, there may be times when, for whatever reason, some elements of division of assets, such as the marital home, are delayed.

A California resident divorced from his wife; however, his name remained on both the mortgage and the deed. A judge ruled that the man's details could be removed from the mortgage and deed once the wife had raised the necessary finances, which she could do when she was able. Five years later, the man's name remains on both the property and the loan, and he began to wonder whether he should force the issue to a conclusion.

In this instance, there are a number of factors to consider. While the man could take legal action to force his ex-wife to either refinance or sell the property, this may not be the best option, whether because of the cost of potentially costly litigation or the inability of the ex-wife to make such financial arrangements. As long as the husband's name remains on the deed and the loan, the ex-wife cannot either sell or refinance the property without the man's co-operation as a joint owner, which means that he retains a certain level of control over the situation. Seeking confirmation that the ex-wife is still maintaining the mortgage payments will allow the man to check that his credit score is not being adversely affected by being linked to her.

Whatever the situation, California residents are best advised to seek the advice appropriate to their circumstances. Keeping communication lines open will assist in reaching the best outcome for everyone concerned. This can help both parties to move forward from divorce into a more positive future.

Source: The Washington Post, "How to remove your name from a house deed after a divorce", Ilyce Glink and Samuel J.Tamkin, Feb. 6, 2017

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