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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33911
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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We had a house fire, got our insurance check, which is a

Customer Question

We had a house fire, got our insurance check, which is a reimbursement check for a new home. However, When I bought the house that burned down I had my significant others name put on the title. Actually she was my ex wife, we had gotten back together, but never remarried, so we were not married when I bought the house that caught on fire. Long story short, we split up, and she moved out 5 years prior to the house burning down, however her name was still on the title to the house, but not on the insurance policy itself. Due to her name being on the title, the insurance company put her name on the reimbursement check. She is refusing to sign it because of course she wants half of the money. But again she moved out of the house 5 years before the house burned down. and remarried 4 years ago. What kind of lawyer do I need to get her name off the check, or get an order to make her sign it? Is she entitled to this money legally?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

You would want a lawyer that does civil litigation. A family lawyer could handle it but since you weren't married at the time the case will be handled in the regular civil trial court and the family code doesn't play a part.

The fact that you put her name on the deed means that the presumption will be you gifted her half the house. Under that presumption she would be entitled to some portion of the check and possibly up to 50% of it. However, the presumption can be overcome but I can't tell you how since it is very fact dependent and would take an extensive in person interview to see what might work and to know what your chances are. It's a little harder than many cases because you will have to ask the court to exercise its "equitable powers". Equitable just means you're asking the court to do something that is done "in fairness".