How do I enforce a divorce decree?

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How do I enforce a divorce decree?

I have been divorced almost 5 years now from my ex-wife. According to theagreement she had 3 months to either pay me $25,000 or sell the house and give me 40% of the proceeds of the sale. She has not or will not attempt to do either. Now I don’t want any money but just want my name off the mortgage. I didn’t push the issue trying to do right by my kids but enough is enough. What can I do?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What you need to do is file an enforcement proceeding. You need to file a motion in the court that handled your divorce seeking to enforce the terms of the Judgment of Divorce. You must articulate what relief you are seeking and why the ex-wife is not in compliance with the order. Although you state that you do not wnat money, I would request that the court order your wife to immediately remove your name from the mortgage and give you the $25,,000 or sell the house. This way she will have the incentive to act on the request. You can always agree to merely making her remove you from the mortgage. If you do not request thamoney in the original papers you may not be able to request it later if she remains difficult. Also, you should review your divorce agreement to see if there is any provision which would allow you to recoup any legal fees you may incur in the event of a default.


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