Q: I’m going through a divorce. My soon-to-be ex-spouse is supposed to refinance our house and buy me out.

Instead, he is trying to get me to sign for a home equity loan so he can pay off the house and pay me my percentage.

Do I have to help him by signing for the equity loan? My divorce papers say that he has to refinance, not get a home equity loan to do this. Please help!

A: I’m a little confused. Why would you take on more debt to help someone you don’t like and are divorcing? If you sign for a home equity loan, and give him the cash, you’ll be borrowing money to pay yourself off. This doesn’t make any sense to me.

If your papers say that your spouse is supposed to refinance and pay you off, then he should do that. Once the loan with your name on it is paid off, you can quit claim your interest in the house to him.

But under no circumstances should you quitclaim your interest in the home to him while you’re still on the mortgage. Otherwise, you’ll be left owing on the house without any collateral to back it up.

See your divorce attorney for more details.

June 30, 2006.