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In my divorce decree it states that my ex got the home debt and all,my name is still on there. can i take him back to court?

Bethesda, OH |

it has been 7 years . i gave him the house and everything in it . the judge gave him 6 months to refinance or get out from under it . to this day nothing has been done and if he misses a payment , which is a lot , the finance company calls and harasses me . they pay the property taxes every year and also the house insurance so they don't lose it to the state or county . the finance company tells me that they don't accept the decree nor the quick claim deed that we had done in 2002 . the finance company says their hands are tied but will back me . they also mentioned punitive damages ? my credit is shot because of this house . his payment history etc is just awful . i have recently become physically impaired and need to trade my vehicle in to accommodate my needs and i cant . that house comes up first .

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Attorney answers 3


We get this question a lot. It sure isn't fair, but it is common. Creditors are not bound by your divorce decree or the court's order as to who is responsible for payment. Rather, you are bound by any enforceable agreement you have entered with the creditor.

That said, recourse is available. I suggest you contact your divorce attorney and advise of your ex's non-compliance. While you can't compel the creditor to honor the terms of your divorce, the Court will likely be inflamed by your ex's failure to comply with the Court's order and take necessary action. The ordinary course of events is to file a motion for contempt against your ex, who may be liable for any damages you suffered. Consult your divorce attorney for the best steps in your case.

All the best to you.

NOTE: This Answer does not constitute legal advice. Every case is fact specific. To render a legal opinion, an attorney must engage in a consultation with a prospective client and review any pertinent documents. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Amy L. Wells or WELLS LAW OFFICE, INC.


While I agree with Ms Wells that the remedy to this issue is in the divorce court, my experience with the divorce courts can't provide you with much encouragement about the success of these efforts. Divorce judges make these orders all the time, but when a party returns to complain that the required refinancing never took place, the judges hear the excuse "I couldn't get anyone to refinance" and they tend to drop the ball. The judge doesn't have the authority to make a creditor refinance and is reluctant to say "sell the house" or "give the house back."

Hope this perspective helps!

Amy Lavonne Wells

Amy Lavonne Wells


Thanks for the additional information. Your clarification makes a lot of sense as a practical matter. I suspect that result would likely ring true in DR courts across the country.


I agree. This happens FAR too often. IF he cannot refinance, the divorce court will not make him sell it, but they should. Even if he sold it there may not be enough equity in it to get out from under it. I am sorry you are in this situation but this economy has hit everyone hard. Good Luck.

The above information is not, nor intend to be, legal advice. You SHOULD consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Based on this response no attorney-client relationship has been formed. If your matter is in Cuyahoga County or surrounding counties, we invite you to contact us. Please visit our website at Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until such time and attorney-client relationship is formed. Attorneys in this firm are only licensed to practice in the state of Ohio and have no specific information as to the laws and rules of other states and none of the information provided is intended to be applied to the laws of other states.

Amy Lavonne Wells

Amy Lavonne Wells


Thanks for adding additional insight, Peter. I do not practice DR work at all, but suspected the issues you set forth could be problematic as a practical matter.

Peter Stephen Kirner

Peter Stephen Kirner


I mostly practice DR, and this situation happens day after day after day, and there is NOTHING that can be done, and it is VERY frustrating to clients. I wish there was a better solution.

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