Do I have to storemy ex-wife’s belongingsif her name is still on the mortgage?

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Do I have to storemy ex-wife’s belongingsif her name is still on the mortgage?

I’m divorced and was awarded the house. However I’m having trouble getting her off the title/mortgage. She won’t move her stuff out. Do I have to keep it? She says that she still has legal right to keep her stuff there. She made me move some of my girlfriend’s stuff in the garage just to make room for her things. We have been divorced over 2 years now. I tried to get get her name off the mortgage but I don’t qualify on my own right now so I was denied.

Asked on May 31, 2011 under Family Law, Minnesota

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your ex-wife is wrong. If you were awarded the house in the divorce then you have the legal right of possession and control over it (assuming that there are no limitations provided for in your divorce decree/settlement documents). She has no rights regarding the property, except possibly the right to be reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses that she might incur due to a default in the mortgage payments (since her name is still on the mortgage). In other words, for example, if the house were to go into foreclosure and the lender tried to recoup any money from her, you would be responsible for reimbursing her for those monies. Again however, absent such a circumstanc, she has no right to dictate the use of your residence. As you seem to be aware, your best bet is to remove her name from the title as soon as you are able to do so.

Note:  Don't just dispose of her property by putting it out on the street.  Give her written notice, about 30 days, to come and get her things.  If she still doesn't remove them, then speak to an attorney has to best go about getting her things out as per specific state law. You don't want her suing you. 


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