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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Do You Have to Execute Documents to Correct an Error After a Divorce

    My question involves a marriage in the state of: Pennsylvania

    My divorce was finalized in 1993 at which time I signed a quit claim deed relinquishing my interest in the residence. Fast forward to now, 25 years later, and we learn that my ex's attorney filed the quit claim under the wrong property. I was contacted and told that because of this, my name is still on the house.

    My ex now wants me to sign a second quit claim deed. Do I have to? I received no compensation for the house 25 years ago, which has since been paid off and increased in value dramatically. Can I request an appraisal of the current value and demand one half the value before signing a second quit claim? If the shoe were on the other foot, this is exactly what would be demanded of me, no question. What are the statutes of limitations for something like this? I've heard 4 years, and I've heard 21 years. Either way, it's been 25.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    14,106

    Default Re: Do You Have to Execute Documents to Correct an Error After a Diivorce

    Quote Quoting No will
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    My question involves a marriage in the state of: Pennsylvania

    My divorce was finalized in 1993 at which time I signed a quit claim deed relinquishing my interest in the residence. Fast forward to now, 25 years later, and we learn that my ex's attorney filed the quit claim under the wrong property. I was contacted and told that because of this, my name is still on the house.

    My ex now wants me to sign a second quit claim deed. Do I have to? I received no compensation for the house 25 years ago, which has since been paid off and increased in value dramatically. Can I request an appraisal of the current value and demand one half the value before signing a second quit claim? If the shoe were on the other foot, this is exactly what would be demanded of me, no question. What are the statutes of limitations for something like this? I've heard 4 years, and I've heard 21 years. Either way, it's been 25.

    Thank you for your time.
    You have no right to the house or any part of it. If you do not voluntarily correct the problem a judge will make you do so, and probably make you pay your ex's legal fees to boot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    4

    Default Re: Do You Have to Execute Documents to Correct an Error After a Diivorce

    This is why I ask: Is a divorce settlement not a contract under civil law?

    Pennsylvania's civil statute of limitations laws are explained in the following chart.

    Injury to Person
    2 yrs. Tit. 425524(1)

    Libel/Slander
    1 yr. Tit. 425523(1)

    Fraud
    2 yrs. Tit. 425524(7)

    Injury to Personal Property
    2 yrs. Tit. 425524(3)

    Professional Malpractice
    2 yrs. Tit. 42 5524(7), (8)

    Trespass
    2 yrs. Tit. 42 5524(4)

    Collection of Rents
    21 yrs. Tit. 425530(2)

    Contracts
    Written: 20 yrs. under seal; 4 years other Tit. 42 5529(b); 5525(8); Oral: 4 yrs. Tit. 425525(3)

    Collection of Debt on Account
    2 yrs. Tit. 425524

    Judgments
    4 yrs. Tit. 42 5525(5)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    14,106

    Default Re: Do You Have to Execute Documents to Correct an Error After a Diivorce

    A property division under a divorce decree is a permanent division of assets. The divorce decree awarded your ex the house. That makes it your ex's house, period. There is no statute of limitations in play here. The quit claim deed is merely the simplest tool to make the necessary changes. There are other ways it can be done, without your cooperation, but you will likely end up paying through the nose for your stubbornness.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Execute Documents to Correct an Error After a Diivorce

    The application of the statute of limitations to divorce judgments can be tricky, as divorce judgments often contain ongoing obligations as opposed to one-time duties, and may at times incorporate or reference outside agreements (with the limitations analysis affected by whether those agreements are incorporated or merely referenced), and other factors. But to the extent that it may be possible to bring a statute of limitations defense, the fact that there was an attempt to transfer the property raises the possibility of a quiet title or adverse possession action, and there is also a possibility of equitable claims.

    One way or another, I would expect that at the end of any litigation, the court is going to functionally uphold the transfer as reflected in the divorce judgment, consistent with the terms of the deed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    4

    Default Re: Do You Have to Execute Documents to Correct an Error After a Diivorce

    I have no problem with finalizing the transfer, it's the equitable distribution part of it. And I personally know someone that had a similar experience. Divorce finalized, transfer was not done for some reason, then 7 years later forced the transfer. Five thousand dollars was the only equity in the home at that time, then after 7 years of making accelerated mortgage payments the equity went to forty thousand, and it was ordered that the owner now had to cough up twenty thousand.

    I realize each situation is unique. I do have an appointment with an attorney coming up because I don't think I am being told the whole story behind what has happened. One other problem that occurred was the house was to be refinanced taking my name off the mortgage obligation. Ten years after the divorce I learned that the original mortgage WAS refinanced, but somehow was refinanced with my name on the new loan. No clue how that was done. At any rate when I raised the problem, I was told, too bad for me because I didn't practice due diligence to ensure my name was off ANY financing, And it affected my borrowing ability with banks for years until it was eventually paid off. I was unable to purchase my own house until just 10 years ago due this this and was forced to rent for 15 years.

    So is that not also another defense, due diligence? I did my part by signing the quit claim deed, it's not my fault that due diligence was not used to ensure the transaction was complete and final.

    I apologize for the back and forth dialog. I just want to gather information looking at this from all sides.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    17,879

    Default Re: Do You Have to Execute Documents to Correct an Error After a Diivorce

    The "equitable" determination was done at the time of the divorce decree. You don't get to argue that things have changed subsequently.
    There's no "due diligence" issue here, at least not on your ex's part. What we have is YOUR failure to comply with the property settlement, not your ex's. You were supposed to deed her the property, you didn't do it. A quit claim for property you don't own is meaningless.

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