Is timeliness an issue in retaining a house in a divorce?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is timeliness an issue in retaining a house in a divorce?

My ex-husband and I were divorced and used the court’s online paperwork system to file ourselves. He got the house. The divorce was final in

7 years ago. He has never refinanced to remove my name from the deed.

At this point, since it has been nearly 7 years, would I be able to ask for half

the cost of the house, since he was not timely in removing me? Also, if he were to pass away, would I own half the house since my name is on the deed?

Asked on June 23, 2018 under Family Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) If the terms of the divorce *specifically* required him to refinance in his own name, then your recourse would be to bring a legal action (e.g. a lawsuit) against him for breach of the terms of the divorce, to force him to finally refinance and/to to pay you any losses or costs you can prove you incurred due to his failure to refinance. You can't get half the value of the house unless he sells it, in which case his breach of the divorce's terms would likely entitle you to it (he can't get the benefit of getting the house if he didn't comply with his own obligation(s) to refinance).  But in advance of that, you can compel him to do what he is supposed to do and to refinance and also, as stated, recover any losses you can show came about due his failure to refinance.
2) If he dies before you are off the deed, you would--assuming you and he had owned it as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" (the most common way for married couples to own real estate together)--become the sole owner of the home.

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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