Question asked on Mar 28th, 2016

Q:The district court has ordered her to sell the house yet she refuses to comply and then appealed it to the supreme court. How can a court force someone to stay on a mortgage note? This is now 8 years after the divorce. And the divorce decree specifically stated she had one year to remove his name. This is affecting our ability to get a home in our name. Please advise. I feel this is a delay tactic and is criminal on her end.

A:  A few thoughts:

Unless the ex got a stay, her appeal does not bar enforcement actions in the trial court — your spouse could move to “re-enter and sell,” or force the sale without taking possession, or do perhaps other things, regardless of whether his ex appealed.

You may be wrong about the old house interfering with your ability to purchase one.  If she was awarded the house, and has actually made all payments, the mortgage regulations permit lenders to ignore that house after a few years when considering whether the not-in-possession spouse can get a new loan.

Finally, this is almost certainly a civil, not criminal, matter.

If you are not making headway, you should probably confer with a family law specialist well versed in such matters, to devise a strategy for getting to “done.”

Marshal S. Willick