My husband requests that I transfer our jointly owned house entirely into his name

By Tu Nhi   April 29, 2024 | 05:23 pm PT
Expressing concerns that should I leave him, he would be required to divide our assets, my husband believes that if I truly love him, I should transfer everything into his name.

My husband previously sold our old apartment, using part of the proceeds to settle the mortgage on our current residence, which we had been paying off in installments. While he financed the majority of our house, my contribution was roughly one-tenth of its total value.

However, I was utterly stunned by his request for me to sign over the title, allowing him exclusive rights to the property. He rationalized that since my family owns substantial land and I only have a sister, my mother will eventually distribute this inheritance between us. Consequently, he insisted that the house we’re living in be registered solely in his name, asserting his sole authority over future decisions regarding the property, including any renovations or modifications.

When I questioned whether his love for me had changed, prompting this demand so he could remove me from the home at will, he denied it. He reiterated his fear of having to split our assets if I left him and claimed that transferring the property to him was a testament to my love for him. As I inquired whether he valued money more than our relationship, he responded: "I am a businessman, so financial matters must be clear."

Understanding his stance, I left the room in tears, wondering if my actions had somehow led to these painful circumstances. I subsequently drafted a divorce petition and sent it to him for his signature.

Our child has been staying with my mother-in-law for the past week, where my husband is also residing. Meanwhile, I continue to work and live with my own mother. I have removed my husband from my social media and blocked further communication to avoid arguments. Aware of my actions, he had his mother contact me, stating his respect for my decision but expressing a desire to reconcile for our child’s sake. He proposed shared custody, maintaining the current status of the house without transferring ownership, and keeping our finances separate. I replied that there was no need to feign a harmonious relationship.

In my divorce filing, I offered him all our assets, considering this offer a provision for our child’s future, and stated my intent to care for our child until they are old enough to choose who they wish to live with, at which point I would honor their decision.

I have yet to inform my mother and sister. Though they became suspicious when I did not visit my in-laws to collect our child for school over the weekend and inquired, I told them I was occupied with work but planned to pick up our child the following week.

At the same time, I am uncertain what my husband has told his parents, but they frequently call, urging me to visit. When my mother-in-law questioned whether we were having a disagreement, I withheld the details, asking her to look after our child a bit longer until I could retrieve them.

Post-divorce, I will be without a home and must either live with my mother or rent a place. Since I live in a remote province, renting a suitable home for about VND2-3 million (US$79-$118) a month is feasible. I will continue to manage school drop-offs and pick-ups for my child. If work demands keep me late, I’ll arrange for a babysitter.

At nearly 60, my mother is emotional and sensitive to others’ opinions, and living with her after the divorce might cause her undue stress and concern. My sister, living far away, will undoubtedly be saddened and worried upon learning of my situation.

Am I justified in planning this way? What would you do in my position?

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