Ex Wife is Denying She Received Payout For Home Equity During Divorce, What Recourse is There?

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“My husband and I have been married almost 5 years.  My husband was previously married and the home that we currently live in, he is the sole owner of, but his ex-wife and himself both singed the warranty deed.  In the divorce decree it states that he is the sole owner, relieving the ex-wife of any financial responsibility.  It also stated that he would have to pay her $1000, which was the amount of equity at the time of the divorce.  He paid her shortly after the divorce was final.  One payment by check for $500. And from what it looks like in our records, he must have paid the other half cash……  She pestered him for this money and he paid it to her.  The check that was paid doesn’t specify that the payment was from the divorce, because my husband didn’t  think that it was necessary.

Now, we are trying to refinance the home, but we need her to sign the warranty deed removing herself.  Of course, she refuses to do so, and says that she was never paid her $1000.  Then she turned around and said that if we give her $500 today, she will go and sign the papers.  Personally, I’m tired of her foolishness.  She knows that she received the money, but we are at a loss as to what to do.

Our first mind says take her to court, but I just wanted to know what our rights are before we take such an expensive route.

I typically stay out of the situations between the two of them, but in this case, it also effects me and my future, because I’m under the impression that we also won’t be able to sell to home either.  What can we do with a wife that isn’t cooperative at all?

I should also mention that they have two children,  ages 12 and 15.  They have joint custody, but we pay her $130 in court ordered child support.  Payments are on time, plus I keep the children before and after school while she is at work, and I also keep them for her during the summer while she works.  My husband and I also have a 1 and 3 year old and haven’t made any moves to lower child support or anything like that.  We just left everything as is.

I’m sorry this is so long, but I felt that I needed to give you some specifics on our situation to best help us.  Thank you in advance.  Any help is so very appreciated.”

Your analysis of the situation is, unfortunately, pretty accurate. If someone doesn’t follow the terms of a divorce decree, there are legal steps you can take to force them to do so.  However, they can be expensive, and in any case depend on you being able to prove that you kept up your end of the bargain.

It’s up to you to decide whether $500, or even $1000 is worth the expense and risk of such a legal maneuver.  Or, you could bite the bullet, double-pay the ex, and write it off as the cost of your own education.