Ex-spouses May Need to go Back to Court

Question:  Under our divorce decree I was awarded our Peoria home, but my ex-wife was allowed to live in the home and she would get one-half of the proceeds when the home was sold. I want to sell the home, but my ex-wife has refused to sign a listing agreement with a real estate broker. I then offered to buy out her one-half interest in the home but she refused. I want at least to be able to refinance the mortgage on the home, but mortgage companies refuse to even accept my loan application without my ex-wife’s signature. I have not even talked to my ex-wife for over a year and my emails to her are never answered. What can I do?

Answer: I suspect that in the divorce proceedings neither you nor your wife were represented by a lawyer. Most divorce lawyers draft language in the decree of dissolution to avoid this type of problem. In any event, you should now consult with a divorce lawyer, and you will probably have to go back to court to get a court order specifically selling the home and dividing the proceeds. Alternatively, depending upon the language in your divorce decree, you may have to file a new civil lawsuit to force the issue. The court may have to appoint a Special Commissioner, usually a real estate broker who receives a commission, to list and sell the home. The court will then divide the sales proceeds between you and your ex-wife.