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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 3 decades of experience in the legal field.
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Is this possible to enforce at divorce time: Instead of

Customer Question

Is this possible to enforce at divorce time:
Instead of husband paying a monthly alimony payment of $1800 indefinitely, can he instead be forced to keep mortgage in his name until it's paid off and then gift it to me (and our children...if he continues to reject any offer I'll suggest that too). The mortgage is only $1400 and there's only 11 of 30 years left. I don't care about the economy and how low it was valued at-less than what we bought it for despite $60,000 in upgrades...I care about keeping our special needs kids in the home they have been being raised in. And I do not trust my husband to make payments that I can rely on. Because that will put his income lower than he'd be comfortable with, I'd like to be a tenant to him as my landlord with an 11 year lease (or however long it takes to get paid off). And I will pay taxes as if he's actually paying me to be safe.
Can a family court judge order something like that?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We are in Pennsylvania if that matters.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Good afternoon Trish,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I have been a licensed attorney for more than 3 decades. Please don't confuse excellent service with a satisfactory outcome based on your wants and desires. I can only explain the law to you---not guarantee that you will be happy with the outcome---any more than a cancer surgeon can guarantee a cure.

The family law judge is limited in what they can make an order in the decree. While the judge can order that the home be sold and the equity divided between the two of you, the judge lacks the ability to make a lopsided property division in lieu of spousal support. That is because spousal support is subject to being modified based on a change in the financial circumstances of the parties at a time after the divorce, bit the property division is not capable of being modified after the fact.

There is however no reason that you and your soon to be ex cannot reach an agreement similar to the arrangement that you suggested---but that would have to be an agreed on provision, and could not be ordered by the judge absent such an agreement.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Just in case I wasn't clear: he's been ordered to pay $1800 in spousal support indefinitely. He also pays child support. The child support is garnished from his washed, spousal support is not. Until the house is in my name, he pays the mortgage and sends me a check for the difference. But only when he feels like it. I once went 9 months without getting a check then $3600 so he could catch up. Once the house is in my name and I'm responsible for making the payment, he's going to get SUPER unreliable.
I do not want to rely on him like this.
If this can be enforced/ordered - then I will agree to alimony payments ENDING once the house is paid off and is in my name.
I am not going to put the house in my name and then HOPE he gives me the support each month.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Good afternoon,

I empathize with the situation you find yourself in as regards ***** ***** thus far, but as I said earlier, what you want the court to do the judge does not have the ability to do.

The judge can order that he pay you the support. You can actually ask the judge for an order that spousal support be garnished from his wages as well base on the fact that he is not paying as ordered by the court. And if he doesn't pay as ordered you can file a Motion for Contempt and Compliance and seek the courts help in forcing him to pay, as well as seek any attorney fees you incur as a result of having to file the motion. That is pretty much the limit of what the court is able to do for you.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Hi Trish,

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

It is possible that your questions and issues might be better served by an in-depth conversation with me. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference.

Please know that I answered your question in good faith, providing you with the information that you asked for, and I did that with the expectation that you would act likewise and rate my service to you. If I have already provided you with the information you asked for and you have no additional questions, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance for your rating of my service, It is greatly appreciated,