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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 111658
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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in 2004, I purchased a house with my personal funds. I let

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in 2004, I purchased a house with my personal funds. I let an elderly lady live there because her landlord had sold her rented house out from underneath her. In 2008, I suggested a marriage of convenience (I am 100% VA disabled) so she might be able to obtain a benefit. at that point, I was very ill, but she coerced me into putting her name on the property deed. All improvements, upgrades, fees and taxes have been paid by me since then. My health has improved greatly due to the efforts of the VA and I no longer wish to live in Missouri. She, however, has threatened to "clean me out" if I divorce her and move away. She says she will get the house, vehicles, VA pension, Social Security, IRA, money fund, $1500/month cash and my personal effects. What can I do to get away from this gold-digger? Please help a wounded warrior decorated in Bosnia and still trying to heal. Matthew xxxxx [Maj-medical Ret]

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

I am sorry to hear that she convinced you into putting her name on the deed, this is what is going to hurt you in this case. Once you put her name on the deed, it is considered to be joint property and you gifted her the share of the house even though it would have been your separate property if you never put her name on it even though you were married. There is only one possibility here and that is to prove the marriage was a fraud and that she defrauded you into marriage and out of the property and you are going to need to provide evidence specifically of the fraud itself.

I am afraid that if you cannot get out of the house this is a problem too because it sounds like you have a bad problem here and you are going to have to at least contact a local attorney by email on one of the same sites used by other attorneys to get representation and try to get an order of protection against her for fear for your safety and those sites are http://www.martindale.com or http://www.lexmundi.com or http://www.hg.org


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Thank you for your response and feedback. I am sorry but I have no way of knowing what more information you require unless you tell me, but unfortunately while you may choose to blame me for your actions in putting her on your deed or the way the laws are written, I can change neither of those nor am I to blame for them.

If you have additional information you want, please ask and I am willing to provide that information, but based on what you have said above the law was given to you as it stands in MO and that law I cannot change, but if you have more facts to add that may change things we can discuss. As far as options, you do have a legal option here, but when you signed up for this site you read and agreed that we could not represent you, so if you are upset because we cannot represent you I apologize for your misunderstanding our site terms.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You still did not address whether the property could be put into an irrevocable trust held by someone else or some other option, whether she is legally able to take my VA benefits and social security benefits for the rest of my life and my personal IRA by utilizing a lawyer just because I have moved without divorce.

Thank you for your response.

The only way it could be put in irrevocable trust is if she signs off and agrees to moving it.

She CANNOT take your SS benefits, she can get a spousal benefit only if she has been married to you for 10 years minimum. Also, she cannot take your VA disability benefits those are protected by law.

As far as your IRA, she would be entitled only to a marital portion of that IF money was put into it during the course of your marriage. If no marital funds were put into it during your marriage, then she would not be entitled to it because it is your separate property. Furthermore, if only a small amount of marital funds were put into it then this means she could only get a small percentage based on the number of years you were married and putting funds into the IRA.

She right now could claim a marital share of the house, because you put her name on it and possibly cars if you either put her name on them or if they were purchased during the marriage.

She is entitled to a marital share, which is based on length of marriage, of anything that was acquired during the marriage or that you put her name on.

So her telling you she will take everything is a lie and she is misinformed.
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