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How to get ex-husband off title to IL residence 11 years after NY divorce?

Antioch, IL |

2003 divorce in New York, we also owned property in Illinois. Ex-husband and I both shared the property until 2008 when he left back to NY and never returned. I have live in the IL property since 2008 and pay all taxes and maintenance since 2008. The 2003 NY divorce does not mention the IL property. How can I get my ex-husband off the title now if he is refusing all contact?

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Attorney answers 3


Why was the Illinois property never mentioned in your New York divorce from 11 years ago?
That is a serious problem which probably will need the assistance of a real estate litigator. You can try to remove your ex's name from title by refinancing, but you will need is cooperation in signing whatever documents the lender requires. Go consult in person with a real estate litigator immediately. Another remote option is to reopen your New York divorce to clarify the missing real estate provision.

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Obviously the easiest option is to have him sign a deed conveying the property to you. Another possibility, as Ms. Goldstein suggests, is to contact your attorney in New York to see if may be possible to remedy the situation through your divorce proceedings. Another suggestion would be a partition action. If you go this route, you would need to be prepared to purchase your former husband's interest in the property. Since most of these options are going to cost you some money, maybe you could offer him some compensation to get him to sign a deed. This would be a good way to control the risks to obtain the outcome you desire.

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There are probably one of three ways you can get him off.
1. He executes a quit-claim deed transferring his ownership in the real estate to you. (This appears to be difficult since he refuses all contact, however this is also the easiest if does it).
2. Contact your NY divorce attorney and see if the divorce case can be re-opened to include the IL property. If so, that issue will eventually resolved one way or another. If the Court orders the property to be transferred to you, and your ex-husband still refuses, you could ask for a judge's deed.
3. File a partition suit here in IL. This will probably be the most difficult and will require the talents of an experienced real estate attorney.

As an aside, and I am sure you probably know this at this point, the IL real estate should have been dealt with initially 11 years ago in the NY divorce case.

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