How do I get my house from my ex-wife if she won it in the divorce but does not want anything to do with it?

My ex-wife won our house in the divorce. She was told to refinance it ASAP. That was almost a year ago and she never did. She wants nothing to do with the house and gave it to her kids who do not want it either. I want my house back what do I do?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding whether or not you have any legal rights to obtain your home that was given to your wife during divorce proceedings.  The laws governing divorce proceedings and divorce decrees can vary from state to state.  The state where you filed for divorce and that entered your divorce decree will be the state that has authority over any further issues with this matter.

Once a court enters a divorce decree, it is a legally binding contract ordered by a judge.  The parties to the divorce decree do not have the option of whether or not they will follow the guidelines set forth in the decree, but moreover, they are required by law to comply with those guidelines.  If your wife was ordered by the court to refinance the home immediately, and she chose not to do this, then you can file a petition with the court to have her be held in contempt. 

Additionally, as with most court orders, you can request a modification of the court’s order.  If your wife has shown no interest in the property, the court may see fit that you are entitled to the property, especially if the title and mortgage is still in your name.  However, it might not be that easy, because you may have been given personal property or real property in the divorce in exchange for your wife being entitled to the house.  There may be some negotiating involved, but the court should assist you so that a default judgment does not go against you for your wife’s failure to comply with the court’s order for her to refinance.  If you need further assistance with filing papers with the court, you can contact a family law attorney in your area to provide some guidance in this area.

 


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