The name of my husband’s ex-wife is still listed on the document we paid for. What are we going to do now? – Boston Herald

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Q: When my husband divorced his ex-wife, he got a house. We have been married for 10 years and recently paid off our mortgage. We want to renovate the house, but we don’t want to invest more money in it until her name is removed from the document. What we can do?

– Melisa

BUT: Getting the right to a home in a divorce does not automatically remove your ex-spouse’s right. The ex-spouse also needs to rent the house.

Many divorcing couples are so happy that the costume comes off that they forget to tie the loose ends. Now you need her to sign the document to your husband.

I hope he still knows where to find her.

Even though it has been so long, they are both still bound by the dissolution verdict. He orders her to hand over the house to him. If she refuses to do this, he may have to go back to divorce court to force her to do what she is supposed to do.

Many exes lose touch and it can be difficult to find them. If this happens, the judge may ask you to do your best to find her before going the other way and placing the house in your husband’s name.

Sometimes a former spouse dies without violating property rights. When this happens, it may be necessary to work with the succession court or its heirs to clarify the situation.

If she is not available or does not want to, the first step is to collect copies of the divorce papers and talk to the lawyer who helped him then. A lawyer will review the documents and advise you of your options.

While some issues resolve over time, this is not one of them. Even though it has been so long, take care of it now before the situation gets worse.

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and is certified by the Florida Bar Association as an expert in real estate law. He handles real estate, litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Florida. He is Chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and co-host of the weekly radio program Legal News and Review. “He often advises companies across the country on general real estate issues and trends in Florida. Send him questions online at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.

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