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When Your Ex-Spouse Refuses to Sell the House

When Your Ex-Spouse Refuses to Sell the House

October 8, 2018

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Part of the American dream is owning a home with your spouse.  When that marriage ends, there are many property issues to be determined, including who will receive that home in the divorce.  There are many ways to handle the division of the residence in a divorce.  If your spouse was ordered to sell the home, but he or she refuses to do so, there are several steps that you need to take to preserve your interests.

The reason your spouse may be required to sell the home will make a difference in what steps you need to take.  If your spouse was ordered, for example, to attempt to sell the home but there was no specific repercussion of selling the home after a very specific time limit, you will need to return to court and request a court order to sell the home.  Under this scenario or with any similar case wherein a spouse was not given a specific deadline to put the house on the market, it will be necessary to return to court to get a court order to actually sell the home.  At the hearing, a judge will hear evidence from you about why the home should be sold and evidence from your former spouse about why he or she should be given more time.

If, on the other hand, your spouse was given a specific date by which to put the house on the market but has failed or refused to do so, the action to be taken will be different.  A spouse’s knowing refusal to abide by a court order may be sanctioned through the court’s contempt powers.  A court may also decide to evict the spouse currently living in the home and allow the other spouse to move back in where the violating spouse is not only refusing to put the house on the market but also is not keeping the house in a sellable condition.  Other contempt powers may also be used, such as ordering payment of attorney’s fees to the non-violating spouse.  In either situation, you will be required to bring a motion before the court if your spouse truly refuses to take any action to put the house on the market. Finally, it is possible that a court could appoint a receiver to take over the duties associated with selling the home to ensure that it does happen.

We have extensive experience with all types of post-divorce issues. Call us today at (320) 299-4249 to talk about what we can do to help you move forward after your divorce.


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