• February 26, 2024

I’m a disabled police officer. My wife persuaded me to sign a quitclaim deed so she could refinance our home at a better rate. Now she’s hinting at divorce

I’ve been married for almost 30 years. I worked for the first nine years of our marriage; I was a police officer and I was disabled. Shortly after my disability, my wife encouraged me to sign a notice of termination for our home that we shared together to refinance on her own behalf and reduce our mortgage payments during this difficult time.

She promised me it would be temporary and if our finances improved we would refinance and put myself back on the title. That never happened. My wife worked throughout our marriage. My income is less than $ 15,000 a year, including my small pension and Social Security disability insurance.

She promised me it would be temporary and if our finances improved we would refinance and put myself back on the title. Well that never happened. ‘

My wife’s income is over $ 100,000 a year. We always filed our IRS taxes together. Shortly after my disability and without my knowledge, my wife changed her name back to her maiden name. In 2012 her bank left a message on our landline (we always had separate accounts) with information about an additional refinancing that I was not aware of.

I asked to be reinstated in the title, but she refinanced our mortgage again, this time in her maiden name, without putting me back in the title. She is now 65 years old and I am 60 years old. She is about to retire from her job in the state of California and has dropped notices and testified about the divorce from me. She says she wants to sell our house and move out of the state, and that’s something I’m not interested in.

She has a 30 year pension, 401 (k), savings, and her checking account. I don’t know how much is in any of these accounts. She is supposed to inherit two houses when her parents die. You are 95 years old. I know that I am not entitled to an inheritance. I’m more concerned about my stay in the house we’ve shared for 30 years.

How screwed am I?


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Dear worried,

There is one thing a judge hates, especially in a divorce court, and that is a scam. The fact that you are disabled and financially dependent on your wife and trust her to make the right decision should help your case. You signed a notice of termination to transfer ownership of your home to your wife on the pretext that she would refinance it at a better interest rate, but that was clearly a calculated move on your part.

You need to seek free legal assistance. If you tell your story to the courts, there is a high chance that you can convince the judge that you signed the notice of termination under duress, incompetence and / or fraud. Stop signing papers, including divorce papers, until you have consulted a lawyer. You are not the first person to be tricked into signing a quirky quit, and you won’t be the last.

“Knowing how ownership of a home can affect the characterization of a home, some spouses induce their partners to execute deeds to gain an advantage in the event of a divorce. These types of Transactions between spouses are subject to the fiduciary relationship that the law imposes on the parties when they get married, ”it says in Bickford, Blado and Botros in San Diego.

“You are not the first person to be tricked into signing a quirky quit, and you will not be the last.”

– The money is

“Each spouse owes the other a duty of good faith and fair dealing,” says the law firm. “If one spouse secures an advantage over the other in real estate transactions, there is a presumption of undue influence. If the court finds that the beneficiary spouse has promised to restore ownership of the co-ownership in the future, the deed of denunciation or transfer between spouses may be revoked. “

The family home is not so easily usurped by a spouse through a nefarious deed, especially if the property was purchased during your marriage. Divorce courts have seen this move too many times. Of course, there are no guaranteed results, but you should seek advice now before your wife files for divorce proceedings. Your wife’s machinations can cost her dearly.

In fact, it is your wife who is likely to have to prove that this is a separate property. “The title doesn’t control a divorce suit,” he added Levine Family Law Group in Oakland, California. Rather, it assumes that all property acquired during the marriage is a community (i.e., a community) regardless of how the title is held. It becomes the burden of the spouse trying to establish it as “separated” to prove it is not. “

“If a property acquired during the marriage is in the name of only one spouse and that spouse claims to be separated, there is a presumption of undue influence over the beneficiary spouse that he or she must refute,” says the law firm. And it cannot be easily refuted, except perhaps with a post-marital agreement. “That being said,” it adds, “it’s pretty difficult.”

Call a lawyer. Don’t sign anything. God’s speed.

Hello, MarketWatchers. Check out the money is private Facebook Group in which we look for answers to life’s toughest money problems. The readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Ask your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or check out the latest Moneyist columns.

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