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My wife who is not on the title, co-signed my refinance. She…

My wife who is...

My wife who is not on the title, co-signed my refinance. She wants to divorce. Can she force me to refinance or sell my house?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Virginia

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

She is drawing up a no-fault divorce

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Just whether she can force the sale or refinance

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/16/2018
Loren
Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37,383
Experience: 30 years experience representing clients.
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Thank you for using JA. I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs., and I am here to help.

I am a certified expert on JustAnswer since 2009, with nearly 100% in satisfied customer ratings. So, we should be able to work through your problem.

I appreciate your patience as I review your question. I will post my response shortly.

This is general information and no attorney client relationship is established.

The site may ask you if you wish to speak by phone for an extra charge. Many find the phone call to be the easiest and fastest way to get the information they need without posting on a public forum. I am also happy to continue online.

There may be a slight delay in my replies as I am assisting other JA customers also. I will reply to your follow up questions.

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Was the property acquired during the marriage?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for responding - I will wait for your opinion here Loren
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No - I bought it on my own long before marrying
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
She never made any payments/contributions in the 6 years after the refinance

Thank you fro the additional information.

VA is not a community property state and spouses can acquire and own their own property without claims of ownership from the other.

So, your ex may have a claim to a portion of the equity appreciation during the marriage, but not to the ownership or title itself.

If (and only if) you are completely satisfied that your question is answered professionally and accurately, even if not the answer you were hoping to get, please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page). It is the only way that I am credited by JustAnswer for answering your question.

There is no additional charge to you for rating me favorably.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
my question is can she force a sale or refinance of my home in order to remove her as a co-signer?

Did she co sign the note, or just the mortgage?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
co-signed just the note - not the mortgage as she is not on the title

Thank you for the clarification.

Your spouse can not force anything with regard to refinance. She can ask the court to order you to refinance to remove her from the note. The court will only enter such an order if it determines that to be the equitable way to deal with that particular obligation when viewed together with the overall property settlement.

They can also order her to pay down a portion of the obligation before she is released.

The vast majority of these matters are settled with a negotiated agreement. So, it is unlikely you will be forced to do anything you do not agree with.

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Are you online with me?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank You Loren - She owns her own home with her own mortgage. The co-sign item/issue is the only item between us that a settlement agrmt would address - I am just concerned that if my credit doesn't allow me to be the only borrower then my only option would be to sell to remove her as a co-signer

You should be able to work out an agreement to either allow her to remain on with an indemnity from you, if necessary, or a sufficiently long period of time to refinance, so you would not need to refinance under the gun.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
An indemnity - what would I be indemnifying her for?

Being sued by the lender due to your default of the note.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you very much for helping me out Loren!

You are very welcome.

If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page). It is the only way that I am credited by JustAnswer for answering your question.

There is no additional charge to you for rating me favorably.

A bonus is not expected, but is always appreciated.

Thank you for using JA.

Loren

Loren
Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37,383
Experience: 30 years experience representing clients.
Verified
Loren and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
You should get 10 Stars Loren
Thanks again

You are very welcome. Thanks for using JA.

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Loren
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Satisfied Customers: 37,383
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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