What should I do to ensure that my ex-husband will pay me for the house? 12 Answers as of April 30, 2013

In my divorce, my ex-husband is to pay me $25,000.00 for the house we owned together in our 21 year marriage. I gave him 5 years to pay me so he would not have to sell the house in order to pay me the money. But now, I am worried he will try to not pay me. He has been very vindictive and resentful. We have two children under 18.

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Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
If you had a careful lawyer, he or she would have seen to it that he gave you a mortgage on the real estate. If the time for payment has not yet passed, however, there is not a lot you can do, because he has not yet violated the divorce decree or Marital Settlement Agreement.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 4/30/2013
John H. Sibbison III, Professional Law Corporation | John Sibbison
If you live in Los Angeles County, I can assist you. If so, please email me back.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/30/2013
Gabel, Gudmundsen & Gabel, P.C. | Laura Gabel
The best answer to your question will depend upon certain facts which are not disclosed in your question. For example, is there substantial equity in the house (i.e. value over and above any mortgage or other liens). If so, you can protect yourself by placing a lien on the home which you would not discharge until your ex-husband pays you your money. It is important to do this as soon as possible after your divorce so that your ex-husband does not have the opportunity to take out an equity line or incur any other type of debt which becomes a lien on the property (your lien is superior to any liens that arise after you record, it is subservient to any liens that predate your filing). If there is little or no equity in the house (or at least less than 25K), are there other assets against which you could have a lien to secure your debt? If your judgment has not yet been finalized, you should make sure that there is language in it describing your lien(s). If your name is still on a mortgage, you will also want to make sure that the judgment contains consequents (immediate listing and sale) if your ex-husband defaults on the mortgage payments.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/30/2013
Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
The obligation to pay the $25,000 should be either (1) confirmed by a Promissory Note signed by the Husband and secured by a Mortgage/Deed of Trust on the home or (2) in the form of a Judgment against the Husband set forth in the Decree.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/30/2013
Kingloff & Travis | William K Travis
If you divorce agreement or decree states clearly that he is to pay $25,000 to you for your share of the equity in the home then you may try to record the document on the deed records of the county where the property sits. Check to see if there is a legal description of the property in the document and if not then you may have to get the agreement or decree fixed (clerical error, perhaps) first.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/30/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Your rights will be defined by your divorce judgment and you can petition the court to assist your enforcement of it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    You may have more problems then worrying about being paid, whats going on with the mortgage and the deed, i.e. was your name on the mortgage? And was it also on the deed. If your name is still on that mortgage you have major issues, also what about the deed I hope you at least kept your name on it.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    Bush Law Group
    Bush Law Group | James Falk
    I am assuming that your husband's obligation to pay you the money comes either a Court decree from an agreement that he signed and was filed in the divorce case. If it was not, then you may have difficulty enforcing it. However, if it was, then once your husband's 5 years is up, you can take him to court on an order to show cause, and he will be obligated to either fulfill his obligation or run the risk of being jailed for contempt.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    LISA J. SOWERS, P.C. | Lisa J. Sowers, Esq.
    Judges do not take willful contempt of their orders lightly. If your ex-husband was ordered to pay you that amount in the divorce, and he fails to do so by the date ordered, you can sue him for contempt of court. If the Court finds that his failure to pay you is willful (meaning he is able to pay, but refuses to do so), he would more than likely be found in willful contempt of Court. Depending on the circumstances of your case, and the Judge assigned, your ex-husband could be ordered to pay you immediately, or by a date certain. He could also be incarcerated until he complies with the court order
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    I assume you are part owner and on the title.. Do NOT sign over title. If you are not on the title, have him file a mortgage on it in your favor (requires his signature), or file a claim of interest against the title to the house In either case make sure its in the final judgment that he owes you the money and payment terms.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    At the very least I would get him to sign a promissory note, and also would secure the house with a lien.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    Sturniolo & Associates
    Sturniolo & Associates | Anthony Sturniolo
    You have a couple options to enforce the Permanent Orders. You can obtain a Judgment against him for that amount plus interest and garnish his bank accounts and wages. The second option is a contempt citation against him for non payment. You can request attorney fees on both options. Your question does not indicate if the 5 years has passed yet.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/30/2013
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