If i buy a home during separation period from wife, with my own funds, after settlement agreement, does she have rights to it?

Asked about 4 years ago - Madison Heights, MI

my wife and i separated April 12, she moved into a place on the 19th and i gave her 90 percent of our bank account. We removed her from all my accounts, and drew up settlement agreement papers stating as of May 1st all property has been divided. Both had it notarized, etc... Our early intervention meeting was last week and the referee entered all of our things as agreed. I am closing on a home next week and though i have had her tell me numerous times she doesnt want my house or anything else, i dont trust her. She has a PPO on me so i cant talk to her now (i didnt do anything, she made up a 100% false claim). I fully intend on moving on with my life and closing on this home. Does she have rights to it? I cannot afford a lawyer or i would have one already to ask this to.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Monika U. Holzer Sacks

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Until you are divorced, your wife has the right to dower under Michigan Law. You should check with a lawyer regarding how to protect this asset. You will need to communicate with her since the property you are purchasing should be mentioned in your settlement agreement and awarded to you. By doing so, she is indicating her willingness to not make a claim against the house. The bank that is financing the house will also need her signature agreeing to give them the rights to enforce their mortgage rights against her dower rights. There will have to be communication in order to close. Therefore, your lawyer should talk with her lawyer to get this cleared up.

    If you can delay the closing of the house until after the Judgment of Divorce is entered by the court, she will have no dower claim on the house. That may be a better alternative in your case.

  2. J. Richard Kulerski

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I am not a MI lawyer and am not qualified to give a legal opinion that pertains to MI law. However, I do want to make a non-legal comment or two.

    By purchasing a home, you have created a potential case within a case. This means you may have hurt yourself by complicating a problem that you were on the verge of solving.

    If you can afford to buy a home, you can afford to pay a MI lawyer for a brief consultation. Do so, or you may turn your potential problem into a real problem.

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