I am a disabled police officer. My wife convinced me to sign a deed of resignation so that we could refinance our house at a better price. Now she’s hinting at divorce

I have been married for almost thirty years. I worked the first nine years of our marriage, was a police officer, and was disabled. Shortly after my disability, my wife encouraged me to sign a deed of resignation to our home that we shared together, to refinance only on her behalf, to help us lower our mortgage payments during that difficult time.

She promised me it would only be temporary, and when our finances improved, we would refinance again and get back on the title. Well that never happened. My wife has worked our entire marriage. My income is less than $ 15,000 per year, which includes my small pension and Social Security disability.

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“’She promised it would only be temporary, and when our finances improved, we would refinance again and she would put me back on the title. Well, that never happened. ‘ ”

My wife’s income is over $ 100,000 per year. We have always filed our taxes with the IRS jointly. Shortly after my disability, and unbeknownst to me, my wife changed her name, back to her maiden name. In 2012, a message was left on our landline at your bank (we have always had separate accounts), with information about an additional refinance, one that I was not aware of. I asked for the title to be returned, but she refinanced our mortgage again, this time with her maiden name, without having the title returned to me. She is 65 now and I am 60. She is about to retire from her job in the state of California and has been giving leads and making statements about divorcing me. She says she wants to sell our house and move out of state, and that’s something I’m not interested in doing. She has a 30-year pension, a 401 (k), savings, and her checking account. I don’t know how much is in any of those accounts. She will inherit two houses when her parents pass away. They are 95 years old. I know that I have no right to inherit. I am more concerned about staying in the home that we have shared for the past 30 years. How fucked up am I? Anxious You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions at qfottrell@marketwatch.com. Do you want to read more? Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter and read more of his columns here. Eager dear, There is one thing a judge hates, especially in divorce court, and that is cheating. The fact that you are disabled, financially dependent on your wife, and trust her to make the right decision should help your case. He signed a waiver claim to transfer ownership of his home to his wife on the pretext that she would refinance it at a better price, but it was clearly a calculated decision on his part. You need to seek free legal assistance. By telling your story to court, there is a high probability that you will be able to convince the judge that you signed the waiver claim under duress, incompetence, and / or fraud. Do not sign any more papers, including divorce papers, until you have consulted an attorney. You are not the first person to be induced to sign a resignation claim on libelous grounds, and you will not be the last. “With the knowledge of how the title of a house could affect the characterization of a house, some spouses induce their partners to execute transfer deeds to obtain an advantage in the event of divorce. These types of transactions between spouses are subject to the fiduciary relationship that the law imposes on the parties when they marry, ”according to Bickford, Blado and Botros in San Diego.

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“‘You are not the first person to be induced to sign a resignation request on libelous grounds, and you will not be the last.’ “- The Moneyist

“Each spouse owes the other a duty of good faith and fair treatment,” says the law firm. “In property transactions, if one spouse gains an advantage over the other, there is a presumption of undue influence. If the court determines that there was a promise from the advantageous spouse to restore joint property title in the future, the deed of resignation or deed of transfer between spouses can be annulled. “The family home is not so easily usurped by a spouse through of an infamous deed of resignation, particularly if the property was purchased during your marriage. Of course, there are no guaranteed results, but you should seek advice now before your wife files for divorce proceedings. Your wife’s machinations can end up costing you dearly In fact, your wife will likely have to show that it is separate property. “In a divorce action, title does not control,” adds Levine Family Law Group in Oakland, California. “Rather, it is presumed that All property purchased during the marriage is communal (that is, joint) regardless of how the title is held. It becomes the spouse’s burden. e is trying to set it as ‘separate’ to show that it is not. ” “When a property purchased during the marriage is in the name of only one of the spouses, and that spouse claims that he or she is separated, there is a presumption of undue influence with respect to the advantageous spouse that he or she must rebut,” says the law firm . . And it can’t be easily refuted, except perhaps with a postmarital agreement. “Other than that,” he adds, “it’s quite difficult.” Call an attorney. Do not sign anything. The speed of God. Hello MarketWatchers. Check out Moneyist’s private Facebook group, where we search for answers to life’s thorniest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or comment on the latest Moneyist columns. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, on all media and platforms, including third parties.