Q: My brother purchased a house a few years ago when he was dating his fiance. They put her name on the deed but the mortgage is only in his name.

They are now separated permanently, but she refused to get off the deed. She has not paid on the mortgage since she left and when she did live there she paid little on it. In fact, my brother is now paying off the home equity line of credit they took out together to consolidate some of her debt.

What legal options does my brother have in removing her from the deed?

A: Your brother was quite foolish. He should never have put his fiance on the deed to the property without also including her in the mortgage. That way, he’d have had some leverage to get her off the property if things didn’t work out.

Here are two options for your brother to consider: He can buy out his ex-fiance or if they got married and are now getting a divorce, he can go to a judge, get a divorce, and have the house awarded to him. Then, he can ask the court to force his ex-wife to transfer the deed to the property back to him.

None of these options are particularly easy, simple or cheap. For more legal options, your brother will have to spend some time and money with his attorney. That attorney might advise him to sue his fiance to force the sale of the home or the breakup of the ownership.