How canI make my ex-wife get my name offthe mortgage?

UPDATED: Dec 28, 2010

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How canI make my ex-wife get my name offthe mortgage?

I bought a house with wife and her mother, then she divorced me and make me leave. She got everything. The judge made me execute a quickclaim deed, which I did and paid for. Right away, she had my name off the title but it’s been 9 years and she makes no effort to get my name off the mortgage. I’d like to get a place for me and the kids some day. I’d like her to stop continuing to use me at her advantage.

Asked on December 28, 2010 under Family Law, Hawaii


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Assuming she was to have taken you off of the mortgage as per your divorce decree, then you can take her to court for contempt of the order.  She will then have to demonstrate what, if any, attempts have been made to get your name off of the mortgage.  The judge can then order her to try and refinance the property in her name only.  However, in this economy, she may not be successful. It depends on her finances.

If a refinance is denied, she can ask the lender to allow what is called a "novation" to remove your name. While this is only rarely allowed, it is still, it's worth trying.  A novation could be accomplished by your ex-wife showing that she has paid the mortgage for the last 9 years without you; if she is current and has never been late, the lender may allow her to remove your name from the mortgage without her having to refinance.  A novation may also be obtained if she "buys" your release by making a substantial payment to reduce the mortgage balance.

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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