Dallas, TX asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for Oregon

Q: In my divorce it states that I would give him the house with the condition that if anything happens to him the house

Would go to my daughter. He is getting married at the end of this month and my daughter is concerned. How do I protect her interest.

3 Lawyer Answers
Anthony M. Avery
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Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN

A: That marriage will give spouse rights. Why did your lawyer not get you a life estate/remainder deed at the divorce hearing? You might record a certified copy of the divorce decree in the County of the house, but the surviving spouse might try to ignore it. A contempt action probably does not lie either. If ex dies then daughter must immediately file suit for a Quiet Title, Ejectment, etc. action based upon the recorded decree. Your divorce lawyer let you down. Consult with a competent OR attorney that knows titles and litigation.

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: You will need an attorney to review your final Divorce Decree. My guess is that it doesn't actually say this because there are only a limited number of ways to control the house. It could have gone into a Trust for your daughter with the ability for your ex-spouse to live there for his lifetime. It could have given the house to your daughter subject to a Life Estate of your ex-spouse. The Decree could have required your husband to sign a Transfer On Death Deed to your daughter. All of these would be unusual to include in a Divorce Decree. This is why you need an attorney to review the Decree for you to determine what the status of the house actually is. Then the attorney can let you know if your ex-spouse getting remarried has any effect on the house.

Steven Leskin
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Answered
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Your question does not provide enough details to meaningfully answer. What does it mean "You would give him the house." Is he on the mortgage? Are you solely on the mortgage? Are you jointly on the mortgage? When would you give him the house? Do you own the house outright? If so, why is your daughter worried. What is the specific language of the judgment?

Without knowing these things, it is impossible to answer this question.

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