My wife of 16 years leaves me for her mother. Her father recently passed away and her mother, who battled depression for most of her life, is not doing well. My wife is from Georgia, where her mother still lives. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t convince her to bring her mother here and I’m not ready to quit my job and take our daughter out of school to move to Georgia.
We worked it all out ourselves and gave our consent to a mediator to write. We were about to sign it when my wife decided she wanted more money out of the house because Redfin says our house is worth a lot more and many houses around us are on the market for more than we agreed to our house is worth.
I’m buying them out and it’s getting tight. But I don’t want to move – our 15 year old daughter and her horse stay here with me. It will be really difficult to find another property to have the horse in – I can’t afford to mount the horse on just my income.
How can I keep our deal and get it signed?
You can’t get them to sign, but there are things you can do to keep things on track. First of all, your wife needs to understand that you can only buy her out with the bank valuation related to your refinancing. I can almost guarantee that your bank rating will be less than Redfin says your home is worth as refinance ratings are always lower than if you were putting your home up for sale. Once you have a bank valuation in hand, you can promote your conversations and offer to buy it at your agreed value.
If that fails, have an open conversation with your wife and the mediator. Her daughter is 15 years old and has only a few years left in school. It will be hard enough for her mother to choose to be thousands of miles away. Imagine how hard it will be for her when she has to move to another city in the middle of high school and may not have her horse around because her mother wants more money. Of course, you would never tell your child this, but by the age of 15 they are likely to be quite astute and angry with both of you, especially their mother.
If she still wants more money, file a divorce suit to seek custody of your daughter, alimony, and ownership of the house. Once the process begins, you’ve bought yourself at least a year, probably closer to two. She could apply to sell the home. Once you inform the judge of the effects of a sale on your daughter, the motion will be denied unless you omitted an essential fact here. Maybe then your sense of fairness will finally return.
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