What Happens To A Deedless Royalty Owner?

I have Royalties and Deed with my Ex on joint land we own. So him being my Ex.... I have some issues!

Our lease is with Cabot and will be ending soon. Not Drilling in our area yet so not productive. My Ex wants me off the Deed leaving me only my share of 50% oil rights, how protected would I be in the future in regards to the

*Future oil leases?
*How thorough are Gas Companies when doing a title search?
*Is he able to leave me out of any future leasing agreements acting behind my back?

" I’ve asked my oil company but only refer back to the lease agreement and touch none of my concerns! "

Please Help, Thanks!!!

Get a Certified copy of your Divorce Decree and Property Settlement. File these with the Clerk in the county where your property is located.

This will assure you of future participation in whatever you were awarded.

Mr. Cunningham is on the right track. Your divorce decree will directly or indirectly deal with the distribution of assets. Focus on the land ownership deed. You may be due a deed of distribution or assignment of an interest in joint tenancy. It depends on the divorce agreement.

Based on a recent geologic and development study I did for others a few miles NE of your county, I encourage you to pursue gaining title to whatever your share may be. The Marcellus development will be very long lived. I suspect that the Cabot lease may not expire and may have been assigned to a consortium at this point and maybe unitized. It is what it is so deal with the underlying land ownership. I you have more than a few net acres, it will be worthwhile in the long run.

Hi, Dineen -

I agree with Charles Cunningham's suggestion. If a copy of your Divorce Decree and Property Settlement have not already been filed of record in the County where the subject lands are located, then you should do that. If there were any Warranty Deeds or Quitclaim Deeds that were required under the Property Settlement, your Attorney should have already filed those.

It is my understanding that if you each own 1/2 interest in the surface and minerals, then one of you can buy the other out. The selling party can reserve their 1/2 interest in the minerals if they want.

Either that, or you can Partition the land completely, where you get 1/2 of the surface and all of the minerals under your part and he gets 1/2 of the surface and all of the minerals under his part.

Or a hybrid of the two, where the two of you Partition the surface, but with each of you reserving your respective 1/2 mineral interests in the whole.

Unless you give up or have given up the Executive Rights to your minerals (the rights to negotiate and execute documents), he will not be able to leave you out of any future leasing agreements.

You haven't provided any information about your Ownership of the subject property or the terms of your Divorce, but each of yours' interests, both surface and minerals, are more than likely already separate estates.

The Oil and Gas Companies will have to negotiate for leases on the two of yours' interests separately, just as anyone wishing to buy the surface will.

The question of "Why does he want to buy you out?" springs to mind: Does he know something about the future value of the land that you do not? You should be cautious in making any quick decisions to sell until you are fully aware of such things.

Oil and Gas Companies are typically very thorough in their reviews of land and mineral titles. I know from this, because that's the type of work I do for them.

What you really need to do is to speak to an Attorney about things like this. There are too many variables where someone who is not experienced in such matters can wind up being an Unhappy Camper (how's that for PC verbiage?).

If you do not already have an Attorney with experience in both Real Estate and Oil and Gas matters, you are welcome to accept my offer to become "A Friend" on The Forum. As A Friend, I will be able to privately suggest a few that are very experienced in these sorts of matters.

Hope this helps -

Charles Emery Tooke III

Certified Professional Landman

Fort Worth, Texas

Thank you gentlemen very much, for both the time and the insight you have given me. I have to go back and take my notes and double check on things! Thank you!

And Charles, I’m definitely going to take you up on that friend request offer… sounds like a good match!

Our Divorce was final in 2011, took 2 years and went through 4 lawyers because of the importance of the Royalties and keeping the farm financially secure!

It’s 93 acres in Susquehanna County, Pa., Ex and I are 50/50 as a whole meaning the land is not separated. I still own 50% of Deed, property and all mineral and surface rights…

Unfortunately, it is my ex who lives on the farm and I was the one who moved out, went to Florida where my family is. If I could change that, I would. My ex is conniving and I can’t trust anything this man does! I thought he was bad when we were married, now he’s worse!

I randomly have to check to see if I’m still on the Deed in fear of him forging my name. So it’s hard to keep on top of things when I live out of State.

Oh, and the reason for my question of a Deedless Royalty Owner is because…

Two years ago he tried to buy me out for $20,000 and let me keep my half of gas rights. He was upset when I didn’t take the deal! Was a slap in the face. Now he wants to buy me out and defer any payment until the gas rights comes in or he sells the farm! Quitclaim Deed, and I loose everything. I truely feel he would make sure there was no drilling done on the property.

Thank you again!


Crossing my fingers that it’ll be well worth the while! Thank you Gary.

Let me put it this way? If you know what you own, file an affidavit of identity describing your interest, referencing other recorded documents that show where your ownership comes from. If you ever need a deed, such as if you sold your interest, you could get an attorney and draw up the deed of sale yourself or the buyer could have the deed made. Deeds did not exist until someone made them and deeds continue to be made. I hope this boils things down to an easily understandable level.

Thank you Mr. Kennedy, was very helpful. Although I am un familiar with these such things, I have been pointed in the right direction by all of you. These forums are always full of ideas and knowledge people, thanks for the insight! :)

I would recommend filing an Affidavit of Ownership with the County Clerk instead, with, among other things, a reference to the original deed and to the Divorce Decree. No need to put a copy of the entire Divorce Decree into the public record in a different location.