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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I am buying out my soon to be ex husband. He left our community

Customer Question

I am buying out my soon to be ex husband. He left our community owned property in March of 2014. We filed for divorce in April 2014. I had told him I was going to buy him out the entire process but just waiting for our child custody to be figured out. We finally figured out the custody agreement and I ordered an appraisal dated April 9, 2015. When we got the appraisal back he was unsatisfied with the appraisal and ordered his own appraisal which was dated May 26, 2015. I was told from other parties that his appraisal would need to be dated April 9, 2015 to match mine so that we could compare apples to apples. His appraiser did not date it April 9, 2015. His appraiser brought in the value 60k higher than mine. My 1st question is he entitled to even the equity after we filed for divorce? My 2nd question is, should his appraisal date match mine if I can't back date to when we filed for divorce? I did have my appraiser back date mine to April 2014 as a back up as well so I currently have 2 values in hand, each about 1 year apart.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
To answer directly, he is entitled to half of the value of the property if he is on title, and if not on title and you owned this before marriage, he is entitled to half of the increase in value from date of marriage to date of agreement (not date of appraisal). It is up to both of you to agree to a date, but that is usually the closest date to dissolution, not when you separated or filed for divorce. His appraisal does not have to match yours, it just has to be a reasonable appraisal close to the same time when yours was done. The 2014 date you have is not valid, and if anything, you'd need to appraise today since values change from date to date based on when the agreement is finally consented to by both parties.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I did appraise in April 2015. He waited until end of May because a Real Estate agent had advised him of some homes closing that would help with our comps. Market is at a peak right now and will fall after the summer. His appraisal came in 60k higher in a matter of 6 weeks time. My other question would then be, is he liable for his half of the payment since the debt is mutual?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Katrina,
His payment is not owed to you but to the mortgage company, and he is as liable as you are (this is called 'joint and separate' liability where both of you are fully responsible for the debt). There is no 'half' responsibility, it is a full responsibility but you can ask via the court to have them require him to cover part of the payment if this is under his name. Please be advised that if he no longer resides on premises and you have no children together the courts likely won't order such payments since parties can potentially file for dissolution while living together, and if one was forced out, that party is generally not made to pay on top of that person's private housing costs.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am still a bit confused. We do have 2 children together. He left willingly when he asked me for the divorce and after vacating the property , we had issues with him wanting to come on the property but he was advised that since he vacated the property and no one forced him out that he could no long have access to the property any time he wanted. I have paid the entire mortgage for the past 14 months with zero help for this mutual debt. Where my question is, why should one party who is myself paid the entire mortgage and he get benefit that values have risen over the past 14 months. Appraised value when he left the home was 525K and the mortgage amount paid by myself over the past 14 months is over 32k. Now he wants to get paid off a 600k value

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Katrina,
My apologies for the confusion. Typically he is responsible for the mortgage payments to the mortgage company and not to you. Since there is no contractual obligation to pay you directly, only the lender can make him pay if he defaults (but that of course can also affect your credit also). You can go to court and seek a benefit (a credit of sorts) for the payments made and ask that the courts amend your share of the estate to incorporate such payments. As far as his desire to get paid off the higher amount, I am afraid that he is absolutely correct. Even if he made zero payments toward the property, since he is on title, he is entitled to half, and half calculated either from the date when you both agree, or the date when the dissolution is signed. So if the values are increasing, his share increases and he is entitled to more. It means that it is in your best interest to get him to sign as soon as possible before property values increase even more. His obligation to pay the lender is absolutely separate from his entitlement as a legal owner of the property as far as his share is concerned--even if he never paid anything toward the mortgage, his share of ownership is the same as someone who covered 100% of all costs and expenses.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How is that any different than the fact that he is responsible for half the payments for all credit cards, car payments anything that is a mutual debt? The majority of all credit cards were under my name but it is a mutual debt and he is responsible for half of the balance from the date that we separated or filed for divorce. Of course I have been paying the mortgage so our home doesn't get foreclosed upon and if needed I will go after him for his half of the debt that I have been paying. That doesn't seem right or fair.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Katrina,
It is exactly the same, but again, for credit cards he owes it not to you but to the creditor. This is likewise a mutual debt but until the courts order him to do so, he does not have to pay it. I realize that it does not look fair, but this debt is not owed to you, but to the lender.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thats fine if he owes it to the credit company but if I have paid it, how do I get that back?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Katrina,
You request it as part of your dissolution agreement and request that the payments you made while separation are treated as a credit against the marital estate. Then you can request that half of the costs are treated as a credit and the other spouse's share is lowered accordingly.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What would stop my ex from waiting more time to order another appraisal if value keeps going up? Or what keeps me from waiting until it levels out? I was told his appraisal had to match my date. What is considered a reasonable amount of time?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Katrina,
Only a court order may stop him from waiting. Otherwise he is free to wait until better time when it is more advantageous (and I am assuming that this is something that his own attorney is telling him is a good idea). You can likewise wait it out and refuse to sign off until the court order it. Or you can even pursue a 'bifurcated' divorce where the dissolution is granted first and the property distribution after.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.