What can I do to protect my credit regarding the mortgage payment of the house that was awarded to my ex-wife?

In the divorce my ex-wife was awarded the profits of the sale of the house, after the payoff of the mortgage and taxes. She is to pay the mortgage going forward and list the house immediately, however she has done neither. She is on the deed but not the loan.

Asked on June 3, 2017 under Family Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You need to bring a motion to hold her in "contempt of court" for vioalting the terms of the judgment in your divorce and punish her for doing so; hopefully, this will encourge her to honor her legal obligations. (The ruling or decision in your divorce is legally binding and enforceable.) Your problem is that the ruling in your divorce only affects you and her, not the creditors; therefore, if the mortgage is not paid and goes into default, the creditors can report the default to the credit rating agencies, foreclose on the home, and/or sue for the unpaid balance of the debt. Your only leverage or recourse is aginst your ex-wife, to compel her to do what she was ordered to do. You might also consider, if you can afford it, paying the mortgage yourself to prevent a default, then seeking reimbursement from her, pursuant to the terms of the court order in your divorce. You would be well advised to retain a family attorney to help you, rather than bringing this (these) legal action(s) yourself.

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