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Statute of Limitations on Property Settlement Agreement

Discussion in 'Division of Marital Property' started by ChrisAnn, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. ChrisAnn

    ChrisAnn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    My significant other got divorced 6 years ago. He and his ex-wife had a property settlement agreement, and the house was to be transferred to him. Her name was taken off the mortgage but never off of the deed to the house. Is there a statute of limitations on transferring the property into his name only? I'm concerned that he might have waited too long. Is it too late?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    That's a great question for your s/o to look in to.
     
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  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I found comments from NJ attorneys that a divorce decree is a court order that does not expire. The attorneys provided no citations so I am not going to link to their comments.

    Suffice to say that your SO should be talking to his attorney about enforcing the decree.
     
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  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    By when? The agreement should have said that title should be transferred by a date certain. Did it say anything like that?

    How did her name get "taken off the mortgage" without her name being removed from the title? It would be extremely unusual for a mortgage lender to release a borrower solely because of a divorce and only slightly less unusual for a lender to allow one (ex-)spouse to refinance in his name only without the non-refinancing (ex-)spouse being taken off title.

    The question doesn't make any sense. A statute of limitations is a law that (a) in the context of criminal law, provides how long after a crime is committed the prosecution has to file charges, or (b) in the context of civil law, provides how long after accrual of a cause of action the plaintiff has to file a lawsuit.

    Is there a deadline by which your boyfriend's ex should have given him a deed for her interest in the property? You'd have to tell us because we obviously don't know what his settlement agreement says.

    Is there a deadline after which the obligation in the settlement agreement might no longer be enforceable? I don't know. Your boyfriend would need to consult with a New Jersey family law attorney about this, but the big question is why he has allowed six years to pass without dealing with this situation. Can you shed some light on that? When was the last time he asked his ex to provide a deed that transfers her interest, and how did she respond to that request?
     
  5. ChrisAnn

    ChrisAnn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the explanation about the statute of limitations. I don't have a legal background.
    I don't know the details of the settlement agreement, or if there was a deadline in that agreement to transfer the property. It's incomprehensible to me as to why this hadn't been taken care of right after the divorce. From what I understand, he's been in touch with her, and there's been no push back. However, I'm concerned that if there's a deadline that's been missed, she will continue to co-own the house despite not paying any of the mortgage for the past six years. What if he wants to sell the property? He can't?
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Either party on title can sell the property.

    If one party desires to sell and the other party doesn't want to sell, one party can go to court and seek what the law terms a "partition".

    That means the court will order the property sold, the proceeds will then be equally divided between the parties with the court appointed representative taking his/her cut.

    Yes he can.
    Yes she can.

    New Jersey provides an equitable remedy known as partition. The term “partition” means the division of property among co-owners. Real property held by co-owners as a tenancy in common or a joint tenancy (but not by spouses as tenants by the entirety or by N.J. registered domestic partners) may be partitioned.

    Partitioning Land: When Owner's Don't Agree | New Jersey Attorneys

    https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2009/title-2a/section-2a-56/2a-56-2/
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Ask him to show you the settlement agreement.

    Or, if you want to avoid that, go to the courthouse where the divorce was filed and get a copy of the decree/property settlement.

    It's common. Complacency. Fear. Avoid confrontation.

    While you are at it visit the County Recorder and look up the mortgage documents in his and her names. If he was relieved of his obligation for the mortgage there should be a recorded document assigning the mortgage to her and releasing him.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if there's a real follow up question here.

    Obviously, you posting on his behalf isn't going to accomplish much if you "don't know the details of the settlement agreement" or the answers to the numerous questions I asked.

    Regardless of how much time has passed, as long as she's still alive and legally competent, there's nothing at all that prevents her from signing a deed that transfers her interest to him and delivering that deed to him. If they're on good terms, then he ought to send her a deed and politely ask her to sign it and return it to him so that it can be recorded. If, as I suspect, he doesn't know how to prepare a deed, he should retain an attorney to do it. If she refuses, then he'll need to take action through the courts.
     

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