Legal Question in Family Law in Arizona

Wife moved out, said she would not contribute to bills. I reminded her she's still on the hook for the mortgage, she states she wants nothing to do with the house, "It's your problem now." I stayed and applied for a loan mod due to loss of wife's income. Bank asked for divorce decree or quit claim. Divorce wasn't even applied for yet and wife signed quit claim when I told her the bank needed it for the mod (house was under water, she cheerfully welcomed anything to distance herself from it.) I have not recorded it with the county yet, deciding to wait until if and when it became absolutely necessary.

Fast forward, loan mod near finalization but still pending, wife files for divorce, and aware of sudden appreciation, wants house sold or me to buy her out. I mis-interpret time limits and file for mediation a day late, mediation is denied, she prevails by default. I refuse to sell or buy out, citing quit claim. I get order to appear for resolution management conference and face contempt for willful violation of court order. Will quit claim override divorce decree in that it was signed, witnessed and notarized before divorce was even applied for, but not recorded yet? (I understand it is legally effective when executed regardless of when recorded.) Has wife legally erred in some way in asking court for an asset she surrendered claim to? Again, her motive and intent was to dissociate from the house. It concerns me the quitclaim isn't mentioned anywhere in the order to appear prepared by her recently-hired attorney.

Asked on 11/20/13, 10:03 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Carlie Owsley Walker The Owsley Law Firm, PLLC

I would need to review the documents but generally she has indicated an intent to waive her interest in the appreciation due to community contribution. I believe you have a strong case to argue as much. She at best has the ability to argue a community interest in the equity, but again I'd like to review what she actually signed. We offer free 30 minute consultations should you have additional questions. 623-748-8973

Best of luck,


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Answered on 11/22/13, 6:17 am

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