How do I regain ownership of a house that my ex-wife was awarded in the divorce but has walked away from?

UPDATED: Jul 29, 2010

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How do I regain ownership of a house that my ex-wife was awarded in the divorce but has walked away from?

December 08 my ex-wife informed me she could no longer afford the house payments and was walking away from the house. She was not required to refinance in her name. The mortgage is still in my name only. I moved in to the house that December after she left and took over payments. The payments have remained current. What is the procedure for reclaiming ownership of the house.

Asked on July 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I would seek legal help in your area as to the best way to proceed in this matter.  You ex wife can merely quitclaim the property over to you but I am hesitant to advise you to do only that.  I always consider what will happen in the long run if no other agreement or order is in place to protect you if she decides to come back.  Real estate transactions are contracts and contracts require  "consideration", meaning that you have to give and get in the situation.  "Regular" real estate transactions are easy: you pay for the house they give you the house.  In divorce cases the marital assets are divided equally or equitably, depending where you live.  Ask an attorney if it is best to modify your divorce agreement or just enter in to a contract for the property with your ex.  You need to protect yourself in this expensive endeavor.  Good luck.

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 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.

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