If I am legally married but have been separated for 10 years and want to buy a house, what do I do? 12 Answers as of June 07, 2013I am trying to buy a house. The title company said my ex has to come to the closing to sign papers. I explained to them I have no contact with him and do not know where he is. They said I need to file with the court that I am unable to locate him. Can you explain the process I need to do?
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
It appears that the title company wants to preclude your estranged husband from making any claim for equitable distribution of property. I am not sure of the advice the title company was giving you regarding the court action. It could be to obtain relief as a Femme Sole Trader, to declare your husband to be legally dead or some other equitable relief.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Morelos Law Firm | Andrea Morelos
Although you are technically separated and having seen him in so long, you are still "married" and he would gain certain legal interests/rights in any new property you purchase EVEN IF he is not listed on the new deed or mortgage. For this reason, the Lender is correct that something more needs to be done, but it is not the case that the only option is that he physically has to attend your closing. When you know where the person is AND they are amicable, you could simply get a separation agreement drawn up, or even a shorter, simpler document called a Free Trader both parties waive any interests in new property either acquires from now until divorce. But if he is not amicable and/or you cant locate him, then you do need to move forward with filing a divorce and it sounds like you will have to serve by publication in the newspaper, which is not typically something you should do without attorney assistance to make sure it is done correctly. If your closing is anytime soon, that will be a problem because it usually takes at least 45-60 days in most counties and longer if you have to do publication. You should consult with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Hanna Legal, LLC | Jen Hanna
You will need to file for divorce or legal separation and make an attempt to locate him. If you cannot locate him, the court may allow you to give notice by publication in the newspaper. I would recommend working with an attorney for this since you'll have to prove to the court that you have made diligent efforts to locate him.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin