Land ownership of wife & husband, now divorced.

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Land ownership of wife & husband, now divorced.

My client is divorced, the decree states that he is to get the land, however his ex never signed a quit claim, she lives out of state. What are his options to get the property in his name if she will not cooperate?

Asked on June 22, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

He needs to file a motion in the Court which granted the decree seeking enforcement or if appropriate contempt for failing to comply with the Judgment of Divorce. I am not sure if this was agreed to by the parties by stipulation or granted after trial. If they entered into an agreement which outlined the terms, he needs to review the default clause to make sure there are no specific provisions that must be adhered to before filing the motion. She may be entitled to specific notice and a right to cure etc. Also check to see if legal fees are available for enforcement proceedings. Once he is sure he has done everything he has to under the agreement, he can file the motion. I suggest that he consult a matrimonial attorney in the area who can advise him of the specifics nuances of this issue under Arizona Law.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If you're not a lawyer, getting directly involved in this on behalf of your client could lead to you being cited for practicing law without a license.  He will need a qualified attorney if his ex continues to stonewall, and one place to look for counsel is our website, http://attorneypages.com

The law and procedure differs somewhat, from one state to the next, so I'm not able to give a detailed answer.  But in most states, your client would be able to file a motion to enforce his rights, and ultimately he might be able to get an order that either serves by itself as a quitclaim deed from the ex, or gives him a court-ordered power of attorney to sign the quitclaim in his wife's name.  The process can be time-consuming and frustrating, and sometimes more than one motion is necessary, and it's not always as simple as it might sound.


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