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Removing your name from the house deed

Purchasing a family home is a significant part of any marriage. Years of hard work and savings have paid off with a dwelling you can call your own. Over time, mortgage installments have built up significant equity in the property. With diligence combined with smart financial strategies, you may see the day when you own your home outright.

From searching for a house to closing on the property, you likely never considered your marriage ending. You may have assumed that you and your spouse would be together forever under one roof.

Yet, when your marriage ends, that cherished family home becomes a valuable asset subject to legal disputes.

Many divorced spouses want to maintain ownership of the family home, primarily because of the children. The end of a marriage has enough uncertainty for them. Children are entitled to some continuity as they move to the next chapter of their lives.

Depending on your divorce decree, finding a new place to live will not remove your name from the mortgage and deed. However, when the time comes to find permanent lodging, you want to remove your name from those documents. That important step requires legal action.

You will have to appear before a judge to request that your name be removed to start the process of refinancing. That move is contingent on your ex-spouse’s ability to refinance. If they are unemployed or do not make enough money, ownership for them may not be an option.

If your ex has the financial resources, but has not or will not take action, a judge’s order would force them to refinance. However, a court battle could prove costly, negatively affecting your finances and, equally as important, the best interests of your children.

Until your spouse cooperates, few solutions exist to have your name off the title and loan. However, that does not necessarily represent a setback. Simply stated, you still have control over your property. Your ex cannot sell the home unless you sign off on the title transfer. Refinancing is not an option for them without your signature as the owner.

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Goddard & Malmquist

Goddard & Malmquist
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Barrington, IL 60010

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