Husbands rights to home if name is still on deed after divorce

Asked almost 3 years ago - Cumberland, MD

If my husbands name remains on the deed to the home after our divorce, what rights does he have to the home? Can he dictate who lives in the home? Can his name come off of the deed and remain on the mortgage? The marital home is in WV and he resides in NY.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Paula Jeanette Mcgill

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . Has the divorce occurred, has a petition been filed, or has the decree been entered?

    Assuming the final decree has not been entered the divorce decree will determine your husband's rights to the house.
    The court and the parties have several options:
    1. order a sale of the house and a division of the proceeds;
    2. order one spouse to retain possession of the home and refinance the property to take the other spouse's name off the property; or
    3. something in between.

    If the divorce decree has been entered without this being taken care of first, return to the attorney who handled the divorce. If this wasn't resolved in the divorce, I doubt an attorney was involved. You can try to reopen the divorce case to resolve the issue. However, there are rare instances where a person is taken off the deed and remains liable on a mortgage.

  2. Mark William Oakley

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . This is why it is best to be represented by lawyers when going through a divorce, Such issues are routinely resolved by agreement, or if none, by the court's determination. In your case, if the issue was never raised, then upon divorce the law transforms your and your ex-spouse's title to the property into "Tenants in Common," which means each of you owns one-half of the house. If there is still a mortgage owed, then whomever signed the mortgage is still personally liable on the debt, which is still secured by the property. You are each one-half liable for all taxes, repairs, etc., as well as entitled to one-half of the net proceeds from its sale or monthly rental income. If either one of you wants out of this arrangement, and you cannot agree to have one buy out the other or to sell the property, then you can petition a court in WV to sell the house, by appointing a trustee to take possession and list it for sale. You will need a triple seal copy of your divorce decree if your divorce occurred outside of WV, which will have to be filed in the county where the property is located. Hire a lawyer in that county to handle all of this for you. Extricating yourself from real property titles and debts is not something a layperson should attempt without legal help.

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