How do we get my husband’s ex off of our deed? .

My husband and I have been married 2 years. We’ve been making updates and repairs to our home. The one thing we worry about is his ex is still on the deed they were never married. Since she’s unhappy with her life, no matter what, she will not agree to sign off on the deed. She doesn’t and has never made payments on the mortgage, never put anything into the house and hasn’t lived in the house for at least 4 years. Refinancing could spike our payments, so is there any other option to get her off of it?

Asked on March 3, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The only way to get an owner (because that's what she is, if she is on the deed) off a deed is for her to voluntarily quit claim her interest to you. If she won't do it for free--and there is no reason why she should--you can try to buy her interest in the property. If she won't sell, or won't sell for an amount you are willing and able to pay--all you can do is go to the courts, file a legal action, and seek a court order that since the owners can't agree as to what to do with the property, the court will order the property to be sold and the proceeds split. Or you can offer to sell your interest to her, see if she'll buy it, and, if so, sell and move on to a different home. Refinancing won't help...how the home is paid for does not affect ownership. Remember that she is an owner--you can't simply make an owner give up her share of property.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.