Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Can We Force His Ex to Sell Their House?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Can We Force His Ex to Sell Their House?

Article excerpt

Byline: Fiona McNulty OUR LAWYER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

QAS PART of my husband's previous divorce agreement, he gave up any claim to their jointly owned house. The ex-wife kept the house and my husband paid the mortgage for two years after the divorce. Those two years expired a year ago, when the house was to be sold or was to pass into his ex's sole ownership -- along with the remainder of the mortgage. She has done nothing to arrange this and won't communicate with us. My husband cannot remortgage our house because of his "interest" in the previous home. They have no children. What can we do to force her to change the mortgage over into her name or sell the property? AASSUMING that a court order was made in the divorce proceedings, your husband can go back to court, as under the terms of the order the court should have the power to make -- and enforce -- an order for sale. A judge could sign all the necessary documents relating to the sale of the property on behalf of your husband's ex-wife.

The court can make directions stating which selling agents should be appointed and which solicitors should conduct the sale, and could make an order for costs against the ex-wife, should your husband wish to claim them.

He should contact the solicitors who acted for him in connection with his divorce to ensure that the order does provide for an order for sale.

He should then write politely to his ex-wife notifying her that if she does not co-operate by either agreeing to sell the house or by transferring it into her sole name and taking over the existing mortgage within 14 days, he will have no choice but to seek advice from his solicitor and/or make an application to the court for an order for sale.

If there was no court order, a fresh financial application to court will be needed and it would be prudent for your husband to seek legal advice. …

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