In my divorce settlement, the court said that the family home has to be sold. My husband is living at the house. It is a complete mess. The estate agents say he is being difficult about viewings and has told them that he won't take any offers for the house as he is sitting pretty. I can't believe the situation I am in. I need my share of the money from the family home. Is there anything that I can do?

Areas of Expertise: 

Public Answer: 

I am sorry to hear about the difficulties with the sale of your family home.
 
It sounds like the court made a financial court order and, as part of that order, said the family home should be sold. Normally a financial court order that includes an order for the sale of a family home will include extra clauses setting out how the sale will be achieved, for example, setting out a mechanism for agreeing on the marketing or sale price of the family home or the choice of estate agent.
 
To advise you we would need to see the financial court order. If the financial court order does contain extra clauses setting out the details for the sale of the family home and the order has not been complied with, then you will be able to make an application to court to enforce the court order.  If the order does not spell out how the sale of the family home is to be achieved, you can still apply back to court under “liberty to apply” provisions.
 
If you have to make an application back to court, you can ask the court to order that your husband pay the costs of the court application. The court will not necessarily make a costs order and, even if a cost order is made, you will not necessarily get the full amount of your legal costs back. However, sometimes a solicitor’s letter saying that you will make a court application and apply for costs is sufficient to get a spouse to cooperate with the sale of the family home. 
 
You do need expert family law advice and we would therefore ask you to call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you. When you come to see us, you will need to bring the financial court order with you together with any letters or emails received from the estate agent that confirms your case that you husband is deliberately being obstructive to delay or prevent the sale of the family home. Please call us.
 
Jordana Adams, Family Solicitor 
 
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