The holiday season! The time of year when kicking your ex out of your house gets tricky. One ex-husband asks Reddit:
My ex and I divorced about 15 years ago and we have shared custody of our daughter.
In the divorce, she wanted our house but I fought hard against it because it’s been my family home for 3 generations before I inherited it. In the end we came to a compromise that was signed off by the judge.
Basically she gets to live in the house rent free until our daughter turns 18, then I get it back. I had to pay the utilities, maintenance, and property taxes the entire time.
In addition, she can’t make any modification or upgrades to the house without my written permission, she’s solely responsible for the cost, and the work has to be performed by a insured and legally licensed professional.
I’ve been sending her move out notices for months in anticipation of my daughter’s 18th birthday and recently that came to pass. The day after, I showed up to the house with a contractor because I wanted some work done before I move back in.
At first, she refused to let me in until I reminded her that I’m the legal owner of the house — according to our divorce agreement signed by the judge — and that she’s no longer allowed to be there. And that I’ll call the police if she doesn’t let me in.
She got the point and opened the door.
I was surprised nothing was packed and it didn’t seem like she’s moving at all. We were arguing as I walked through and inspected my house. She wanted extra time and I told her to be out by the end of the week or I’ll have her stuff thrown out.
When I walked into the living room, I was shocked into silence. The living room was expanded by a wall being torn down and having the bedroom that was once there merged into it. She turned my 4BR house into a 3BR one.
I know I didn’t sign off on this and from the looks of it, the work was probably done by her BF and not a professional. I yelled at her and told her I’m going to sue her for everything she has. Then I left.
She went crying to our daughter and my family. Now everyone is telling me to give her another month to find a place and not to sue her. My daughter is firmly on her mother’s side and thinks I’m the AH for kicking her mother out a couple of weeks before Christmas and suing her. This is why I’m here.
I think I’m right and legally I am right but my daughter’s opinion of me matters to me.
Am I TA?
Edit to answer common questions:
My daughter is a freshman in college and I rent her an apartment near campus where she lives by herself. She has a room in my house and I assume will have a room wherever her mother lives.
My ex fought for the house and had a chance of winning even though we had shared custody because I make much more than her. I offered her the compromise and she took it because her attorney told her it was a good deal and there’s an equal chance I could win which would leave her without a house.
My relationship with my daughter is good. She didn’t tell me about the renovation because early on I told her I don’t want to talk or hear anything about her mother unless it’s something that’s affecting her (daughter) negatively. My ex was dead to me and I wanted to spend time with my daughter building new memories.
Edit to answer more questions:
My daughter is a wonderful girl and I couldn’t ask for a better daughter. She has a big heart and cares about her mother. I’ve made it a point to never talk about her mother since the divorce so I’m sure she doesn’t fully understand our situation. I plan to talk to her.
I inherited the house during our marriage and since we were still in the honeymoon phase, I placed her name on the deed. After that, I remortgaged the house twice, once to get a better rate and once for money we needed.
All of this led to my attorney advising I compromise. He said there’s a real risk of losing the house, so I compromised.
Thank you for reading my post. I’ll update as the situation progresses if anyone is interested.
The rules for this arrangement COULD NOT BE MORE CLEAR.
I don’t know where you live and the worth of your house but where I live, there’s a huge price difference between a 3 bedroom house and a 4 bedroom one. Your ex’s action caused you to lose tens if not a hundred thousand dollars.
NTA and sue her.
Mortage_gurl responds to the above:
Let’s not even talk about the removal of a wall can actually cause structural problems. I’d get a structural engineering inspection on the entire property to make sure the lawsuit includes everything
She has had 15 years to find alternative accommodation, you even sent her reminders, AND she violated the agreement by having unauthorized work done? Yeah hell no, kick her out. NTA
But troublesomefaux points out:
You are NTA but if your daughter thinks you are, that matters more than what any of us think.
Quick! OP! Print out this page and put it in your daughter's stocking.