She Wants The House
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Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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Old 05-22-2011, 06:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default She Wants The House

I'm thinking of ending my miserable 24 year marriage because my wife and I can't stand each other. We have 2 kids ages 18 and 20 who are still living at home. I told her I wanted a divorce a couple of years ago, but never followed through on it. At the time she told me if I wanted a divorce that's fine, but she wouldn't give up the house for the kids sake, meaning, she expects me to move out so her and the kids can live happily ever after together. Mommy is their favorite you see. She's done a great job of making me the heavy over the years by never saying 'no' to them because she wants to be their 'pal' instead of their mother. You know how that goes.

At any rate, here's my problem. My parents gave us a 20k down payment for this house which we've been living in for 10 years now. I spoke with my sister about this and she said that my wife would have to 'buy me out' if she wants to keep the house. Is that true? The thing is my wife doesn't make enough to pay the bills on her own let alone have enough to take out a loan to pay me off, which means she would be forced to sell if I want a divorce right? She did make some desperate off the wall comment during an argument about our kids getting a job to help her with the bills. How nuts is that?

Another thing are assets. We have a whole house full of stuff. Would she also have to give me half of what our internal home assets are worth? If she was forced to sell who would get what?

Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: She Wants The House

Each state is different, so talk to a lawyer, and do the best you can by protecting your self.

One thing to remember, do not leave until you have a court order of seperation, the last thing you want is her sueing you for abandonment.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: She Wants The House

I've had friends who had to sell per the divorce decree and others where the wife got to keep the house but must sell later when the kids are older with 50% of the equity going to the other spouse. None of the women I knew had to buy out their spouses.

No idea what happened with the furnishings. Most men seemed to just walk away from all of it taking just enough to start over.

It's not always the woman that gets the house. I know a few men that got it. No idea what made the difference.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: She Wants The House

It does vary state by state of course. I see a lot of couples having to sell or one buy out the other.

In my case we are fighting over has to take the house. Our area has been hit hard with plummeting property values. Neither of us want to deal with it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: She Wants The House

I guess it is different in our situation. We have no issues evenly splitting up our stuff - value is not important to us. It was really easy, I keep our bedroom, dining room, entertainment room, tools, etc. She keeps the formal living room, two other bedrooms, kitchen appliances, etc. So far, we have not had a single disagreement over splitting up property. Are we odd couple out on this one? I don't know. We have not, nor plan to talk to a lawyer. We will divide our belongings, divide our finances, pay out our bills then try to move on. I hope we don't have the court getting in our way but I don't think we will. This is not to say that I am saying that divorcing is easy - it isn't, it's devistating. But I guess with respect to property, we are pretty even keel level headed on it.
BTW, Helicon, I would suspect, and I am no lawyer, that the 20k your parents gave you would depend on if it was a gift or an agreement to pay back. If it was a gift, for example, a wedding gift, then half of that would be hers in a community property state where everything is 50/50. So, if you both agreed to pay back the 20k 10 years ago, then she could be forced to pay that. Again, I don't know but that sounds like what a court might do - and, I suspect they would want proof that it was a loan if both of you do not agree that it was a loan. My stbxw and I will have to sell our house because we have no other choice in order to eliminate debt (most of it student loans for our kids). So maybe we are in a completely different situation because we both have great jobs and make about the same income. I would have preferred to buy her half out and stay there but no way I can do that and keep the debt we have, even if we divide it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: She Wants The House

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helicon View Post
I'm thinking of ending my miserable 24 year marriage because my wife and I can't stand each other. We have 2 kids ages 18 and 20 who are still living at home. I told her I wanted a divorce a couple of years ago, but never followed through on it. At the time she told me if I wanted a divorce that's fine, but she wouldn't give up the house for the kids sake, meaning, she expects me to move out so her and the kids can live happily ever after together. Mommy is their favorite you see. She's done a great job of making me the heavy over the years by never saying 'no' to them because she wants to be their 'pal' instead of their mother. You know how that goes.

At any rate, here's my problem. My parents gave us a 20k down payment for this house which we've been living in for 10 years now. I spoke with my sister about this and she said that my wife would have to 'buy me out' if she wants to keep the house. Is that true? The thing is my wife doesn't make enough to pay the bills on her own let alone have enough to take out a loan to pay me off, which means she would be forced to sell if I want a divorce right? She did make some desperate off the wall comment during an argument about our kids getting a job to help her with the bills. How nuts is that?

Another thing are assets. We have a whole house full of stuff. Would she also have to give me half of what our internal home assets are worth? If she was forced to sell who would get what?

Thanks!

Your LAWYER will know. If you don't have one, get one. And do NOT leave the house until you see said lawyer. Possession really is 9/10.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: She Wants The House

In most states, your individual contribution is taken into account, but also each of your ability to make ends meet after the marriage. Some states tend to give the wife a time of support for adjustment, others favor more strongly in the case of the wife. A lawyer will not always charge for the first visit. In many states, books exist that are tailored to your state and written by a lawyer there. I'd guess that she's dreaming if she thinks that she'll just walk away with it. Just don't leave until a lawyer tells you its time to leave.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: She Wants The House

A lawyer can advise you and "yes", every state is different, but as a practical matter, a judge is going to decide what happens to the house. Even if you two come to an agreement, it means nothing until a judge incorporates it into a court order. Your lawyer can advise you as to what the judge "might" do, but that's only an educated guess. It'd be great if she were more motivated to get a divorce than you, because the party that wants it most will lose the most. The best thing that could happen to you in this situation is for her to fall head-over-heels in love with some guy that had a little money. She'd be more interested in her freedom than the house and she'd agree to less favorable terms now as oppposed to a sweeter deal from the court later.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: She Wants The House

Yea, In your case it's different. In our case, a judge will NEVER rule on our house or put anything in a court order, simply because, there will be no house. I am assuming that unbelievable is only referring to a contested divorce case. My stbxw and I are selling our house first, dividing up our belongings and finances and won't be seeing lawyers, we will file ourselves but by the time that filing happens, we would have already sold our house, be living in different places, spent all the asset money on paying off debt. Anyway, Helicon, I know that it is different for us because our kids are grown and out of the house and we are on really good terms. We both understand how this needs to be handled and are very satisfied with our agreements. Also, it helps that we both have the same salaries and compensations from our jobs.

I guess if I have anything to offer from this is, can you sell the house, have her agree to take half the equity, that way there is no house in the equation, she could use the equity (if there is any) to put down on her own place. Halien is right though, she won't just walk away with the house.

I don't know, I guess it depends on what you think you can get from the sale in this economy. But I suspect that since it is you that is asking for the divorce and are the higher wage earner, you are going to have to carry the burden of support for her and the children (unless you can prove adultry or infidelity). And, IMO, rightfully so.

Last edited by brighterlight; 05-24-2011 at 11:01 AM.
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