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BizMatters, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1132
Experience:  JD -NYS Bar
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I live in Colorado and going through marital problems. My

Resolved Question:

I live in Colorado and going through marital problems. My wife has rushed into signing a Buy-Sell Agreement to purchasea condominium with my agreement or signature. Our entire family is trying to convince her to just try marriage counseling, which I am 100% committed to doing. But I must protect my legal rights as she is proposing to leave me with significant marital debt and a very expensive home I cannot afford without her salary contribution. I make $140,000/year...she makes $40,000. Please advise what steps I can take to cease her condominiun purchase.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  BizMatters replied 8 years ago.

HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:
-Could you explain your situation a little more?u


The house you have in Montanna is in both you and your wife's name?

Did you sign the buy-sell Agreement already?

Do you own a new home -in Colorado - which also has her listed on the title?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

No, the house in Montana was purchased in July 2007, a few months before we married. It is in my name only.


I have not signed anythign related to the condo my wife has pursued purchasing. Apparently, she signed a Buy-Sell Agreement on her own.


We do not own the home we have in Colorado. Because the home in Montana did not sell, we had to rent a house here in Colorado. She and I are both signators on the lease.

Expert:  BizMatters replied 8 years ago.


Colorado is an equitable distribution state, so in the event of a divorce, the court will look to divide marital assests in a manner that is fair. This does not mean a 50/50 split necessarily.


In your situation, since your spouse does not seem amenable to counseling, you should move quickly to get a Marital Propety Settlement agreement developed. This agreeement will help you to establish what portion of the assets/debts incurred during the marriage will be your responsibility and what will be her responsibilty. Generally, the courts will accept these agreements as written. As part of this agreement, you will want to request that she continue to make her current rate of contribution for the rent (or that portion needed for you to make the payment).


Because it is unclear that she will continue to make payments until your current lease expires, do not sign any documents that will cause you to incur more obligations. Depending on how much of the $75,000 you currently owe will remain your responsibility after the Settlement Agreement is finalized she may find it reasonable to work this out amicably with you while the current leas is enforceable. Is this debt related to the mortgage on the house in Montana? or does it include other debt incurred during the marriage? Did you re-finance the house after you married -- or is the mortgage the original mortgage in your name only? Has the house appreciated since you purchased it? Can you establish that her income was relied upon to help pay for the mortgage and other marital debts? Did you each maintain separate bank accounts?


The answers to these questions will affect the outcome and you will need to review with an attorney. In Colorado, the higher income earner will generally be required to carry a larger portion of the debt. You can also be made responsible for debts incurred by your spouse during the marriage. For these reasons, it is important that you move forward to get a Settlement Agreement which outlines what you will be held responsible for if you cannot get her cooperation to work out your current debts. This Agreement will need to state that any debt incurred by either spouse after the Agreement is the sole responsiblity of that party as of the date stated in the Agreement.






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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

PS: If the answer appears to have been very helpful, or has provided extra research to provide you with a full understanding of an issue, a bonus is nice way to say "Thank you".








Customer: replied 8 years ago.
  1. Is there any legal way to stop her from closing on this condominium?
  2. No, the house in Montana has not been refinanced and is still only in my name.
  3. No, the house has actually dropped in value by approximately 10% (roughly $50,000).
  4. Most of the $75,000 is other debt accrued during the term of the marriage, not house-related.

Please help me with #1 above and I will be very happy!



Expert:  BizMatters replied 8 years ago.


Legally, she is an adult and can enter into contracts on her own. As a spouse, you can protect yourself by pursuing the Settlement Agreement noted above. You can also take the unusual step of requesting a family law attorney to "stop" (enjoin her temporarily) from closing on this property until the Settlement Agreement is executed, to protect your exposure to additional debt.


As a practical matter, her credit report will also show all the marital debt, if she is also listed on those obligations. In light of her current salary, -- will she qualify for additional mortgage without you as a co-signer?



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