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Question DetailsAsked on 6/11/2014

Am I legally obligated to go with a roofing company after my wife signed a contract?

My wife is not on the title or mortgage for the home but signed a contract to have a roofing company represent us. Now that the roof has been approved by the insurance company, they are raising their prices. Do I have any obligation to them?

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1 Answer


If you are in a community property state probably yes. If not, maybe or maybe not depending on details of case and whether you owned the house before getting married or not. However, once roof work is started or is done, you are obligated in two ways - if you knew they were doing it and did not immediately order work cessation, you accepted the contract by implication. Also, once work is done on the house, they have a right to a contractors lien on the property, though of course you could get to court to get that voided IF you proved you knew nothing about the contract OR roofing being done, or contract was obtained fraudently.

Also, if you are separated but still married there might be divorce terms regarding responsibility for care of the house that might apply to you as well.

Of course, if you refuse to pay your wife is still on the hook for the contract until legally terminated, regardless of whether she owned the property. Amount determined by terms of contract and amount of work properly done.

However, if they are trying to increase the price after contract was signed, then THEY are in breach of the contract, not you. Assuming this is in writing (both contract and increased price), I would notify the insurance company of the situation - they may help you, and remove approval so you can find another more reputable contractor after your wife notifying this one he is terminated for failing to abide by the contract. I would also file a complaint with the state licensing board, and you could file a civil fraud suit - depending on circumstances might merit a criminal fraud case - your local district attorney's office could help you with that issue.

If roof is done, certainly don't pay more than contract amount unless additional work or compensation was agreed upon - and be sure to get both contractor and supplier lien releases.

Assuming work has not yet started, I would contact insurance company about getting approval removed, and getting contract terminated - that might take an attorney. This certainly is not a contractor you want on your house, though - sounds like a storm chaser type. You should NEVER sign a document authorizing someone else (other than possibly your attorney) to represent you to an insurance company - you totally lose control of the situation that way, and are generally bound by what your representative agrees to whether you would have or not.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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