Q: In my divorce decree, it states that my ex wife will take over our mortgage payment but my name is still on the mortgage
She’s not cooperating to have my name removed to refinance or loan assumption. We’ve been divorced since 2017. How do I go about getting my name off.
A: Remember that your divorce decree is only valid as between the two parties involved - the Court that granted your Decree cannot force a bank to remove your name or allow the ex to refinance. As a best practice, my office typically ensures we draft a provision requiring the spouse keeping a mortgage to make "all reasonable efforts" to refinance. If your Decree or Property Settlement has similar language, she may be in contempt for refusing to make efforts (although she would not be in contempt if she tried but failed to qualify). If there is only a requirement that she make the payments and she is doing so, she would be meeting the requirements of your court orders. Your best bet is to take your Decree and paperwork in to consult with an attorney about your options. Best wishes!
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A: If a party is not following a divorce decree, one of the most common methods to enforce this is to file a show cause/contempt action to asks the court's assistance in enforcing the Court Decree. If the Court finds the failure to follow the order to be willful, the Court can hold the party in contempt and enter sanctions against the party for their failure to act. If it is a failure to refinance within the period of time set forth in the Decree, the Court can order that the party list the home for sale if the party doesn't otherwise fulfill the terms regarding refinancing, among other terms.
What is your best course of action in your case depends on the specific wording in your Decree. If the Decree is vague about whether she just needs to make the mortgage payments as opposed to actually refinancing out of your name, it may be more difficult to force refinancing if she has been making the payments timely.
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