Milledgeville, GA asked in Consumer Law for Georgia

Q: Is there a credit for home equity to the wife when house sells when wife only has paid for 4 years after divorce

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1 Lawyer Answer
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Cary, NC
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: What are you referring to? If the parties divorced, then this issue should have been resolved in the marital settlement/separation agreement.

I assume your question refers to a scenario in which both persons were on the deed to the home. Whose name is on the mortgage? What did the divorce decree say about the home, if anything? Was the home to be refinanced in one person's name and was the other supposed to receive any share of the equity? Was there even any equity in the home at the time of separation?

I assume that what you are referring to is the fact that one party exclusively paid the mortgage for the 4 years following divorce. In such case, they are seeking reimbursement for the part of the mortgage that the person paid which exceeded his or her fair share (assuming that if the home is in both names that they should each be responsible for 50% of the mortgage etc.).

Again, this should have been resolved in the divorce action. Once the divorce is over, if the house is in both names, then each of the persons on the deed are entitled to an equal share of the equity. Whether you can maintain a claim for contribution would depend on whether the person out of possession who did not pay had a legal responsibility to pay for 1/2 of the expenses on the home.

I suggest that you gather all of your documents together and consult with a family law or real estate attorney to see if an argument can be made for something other than a 50/50 distribution of the equity from the proceeds of the sale of the home.

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