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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 05-13-2010, 04:12 PM
baileybug baileybug is offline
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Default He just walked out

A friend of mine's husband just walked out on her. Turns out he has a girlfriend and had decided to move in with her into her new home.

Question - what should my friend do now to protect herself?

Looks like her husband is pretty set on moving on with his life and right now is being pretty agreeable. He's offered to let her stay in the house, in return, he is keeping the car. Both of these items are in both of their names, plus the mortgage, the car loan, the ownership, the insurance - are all in both names.

What things should she take care of? He's offered to take his name off their house ownership - is that a good idea? Does it make any difference? But, he can't take her name off the car lease, because it would incurr a fee and he'd have to refinance...It ends in 2012

Any other suggestions? Can she change the locks? What about joint bank accounts? joint credit cards?

Please reply with any tips/experience you have in this situation.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:28 PM
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tugofwar tugofwar is offline
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From what I read, you can't change the locks. It's still the mat home and as long as both names are on the mortgage you can't do much.

Evaluate joint bank accounts. Your spouse might simply take all the money in your bank account, leaving you with no cash. This can be a real problem because even if you have lots of assets, they will not be in liquid form.

You have three options when dealing with a joint bank account. The first option is simply to do nothing. The second option is to take half the money in the bank account and put it in a separate bank account for yourself. The third option is to take all the money in the joint bank account and to put that in a separate bank account for yourself.

Joint line of credit, credit cards- you can't remove your spouses name so you might want to have the bank not allow withdraw/purchases just payments.

However, normally taking all the money in the bank account will not be to your advantage, as it will make you look bad. In these circumstances, simply taking half the money in the joint bank account may make the most sense. Regardless of which you choose to do, the main point is to consider the issue carefully.

Last edited by tugofwar; 05-13-2010 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:30 PM
dinkyface dinkyface is offline
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Create a catalog of all your stuff, with pictures, and purchase dates/amounts if possible.
Get printouts of current bank accounts, loan balances, pension statements, credit cards, car financing statements etc. etc.
Perhaps arrange to have your house appraised soon, since you will split the value on the date he walked out.

All of the above will be necessary anyway, when you formally split your posessions, but it would be very useful also if he does something nasty like drain joint accounts, runs up joint LOC debts, or comes back and cleans out the house.

But at the same time... be nice! (i.e. don't create any unnnecessary conflicts)
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:17 AM
baileybug baileybug is offline
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My friend had contact with her husband. He says he will go to the bank next week with her and take him off the mortgage. Is this the right thing to do? I'm worried that means he will just be off the hook for mortgage payments, but he will still techinically be half owner of the house. How do you remove ownership? Do you have to go to a lawyer?

So basically he will be off the hook for mortgage, but she will still be tied to his car loan for the next 2 years.

Advice? Should she go to a lawyer now and make up a separation agreement?
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:52 AM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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Taking his name off the mortgage does not mean she gets the house. It means he is not responsible for the payments!! DON'T DO IT!

If she wants the house and he is willing, he has to sell her his half. Essentially she will have to give him half of the equity in the house, either in cash, or by giving him something equivalent in value (RRSPs?) or taking on an equivalent debt. This is NOT something she should be doing without speaking to a lawyer!

If she does agree to remove his name off the mortgage he is still entitled to the same equity in the home. This is the law, no agreement, even in writing will take his rights to that away. Tell your friend to be very careful here...
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:56 PM
baileybug baileybug is offline
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He says he's willing to let her live in the house, as long as she makes full mortgage payments from now on, and as long as he gets some money back if she ever sells the house. Does that work?
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:42 PM
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tugofwar tugofwar is offline
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He says, he says.... doesn't mean down the road it would come and bite her in the butt.
She should definitely get a professional opinion just in case things start getting ugly she will be covered.
Everyone starts off wanting to keep things civil, but when it comes down to money----people change quickly.
She should know her rights at least and do things the legal way to cover herself in the future
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:55 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baileybug View Post
He says he's willing to let her live in the house, as long as she makes full mortgage payments from now on, and as long as he gets some money back if she ever sells the house. Does that work?
So she 100% pays the mortgage from this point forward, ok. All he wants is a percentage of the net after the sale.

At what value is he calculating the house at when and if she decides to sell. The value now or the value when she actually sells the house?

This make ZERO sense for her for a couple reasons.

As she pays the mortgage, she is lowering the principal, thus creating a larger pot. Plus what happens when the value of the house increases? Does he get to bloat the pot with the increase there?

Unless she gets a valuation done now and they get a statement from the bank that the residual on the mortgage is X. And the ex agrees in writing to a certain percentage of the value today, all I see is headaches down the road when she goes to sell and he says he wants 40% of the value at that date. Not when he actually stopped contributing to maintaining the house.
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