Photo capturing the need to enforce a court order for property to be sold after a divorce

How to Enforce a Court-Ordered Sale of Property After a Divorce

Divorce in Texas can create a host of challenges for formerly married individuals. One of the biggest issues to sort out during a divorce is the post-divorce living situation of each spouse.

Oftentimes, the court will order the sale of property to ensure that one party has ample financial resources to support their new living arrangement. However, when one party refuses to carry out a court-ordered sale of property after a divorce, it can leave their former spouse in a difficult financial position.

Our family law attorneys understand these types of legal situations involving assets in a divorce. When a former spouse refuses to sell the property as ordered by the court, we step in with solutions. Learn how you can enforce this type of court order with our support.

Understanding a Court-Ordered Sale of Property

Divorcing couples often battle over real estate and other property during divorce proceedings. This conflict is understandable, as property holds significant monetary and sentimental value, making it painful to part with.

In the end, a judge will make a ruling regarding the marital property, which often turns out to be a court-ordered sale. This order is not a suggestion for your ex-spouse; it is legally binding.

Additionally, a court order to sell property must be carried out in a timely manner. In other words, once a divorce has been finalized, the sale order should be acted upon right away.

Your ex does not have the leeway to get around to initiating a sale when they feel like it. And, if they blatantly refuse to follow the order, you can take action.

How to Enforce a Court-Ordered Sale of Property

No one wants to hound their former spouse for proceeds from a sale, as divorce is meant to lead to a complete dissolution of the marital relationship. So, when one spouse fails to honor their obligations, they suspend the effects of the divorce and keep both parties linked together in conflict.

We have worked through many of these situations where spouses delay or outright refuse to sell property. When there’s an order to sell, we fight to ensure it is honored.

We know that delays can be just as frustrating and stress-inducing as a refusal to sell, as these actions give false hope and create further frustration for our clients. Consider the enforcement options available to you when your spouse is not cooperating.

Enforcement Options in Texas

Often, the most appropriate first step is to try speaking with the spouse who is refusing to sell. If this does not work, legal action is the next course of action. If you have documented proof that your ex-spouse is not trying to sell the property, a divorce attorney can file a motion for enforcement.

A court date for a hearing before a judge will be scheduled, and a judge will rule on the issue. Your attorney will present evidence of the non-compliance, and your ex-spouse will be able to respond.

The judge’s ultimate ruling could include:

  • A contempt of court judgment, which comes with potential jail time and fines
  • A specific order to execute the sale by a certain date
  • Payment of your legal fees by your ex-spouse
  • A money judgment

The court has tools to retrieve funds from those who don’t comply. It may make use of wage garnishment and property liens to satisfy judgments. 

In some cases, these penalties may not be enough to compel your ex-spouse to comply. When so, the court may issue a writ of execution. This order allows law enforcement to seize the property in question from their residence.

Is Mediation a Better Alternative?

In some situations, you may not want to pursue an enforcement of the original order. Mediation could be a good fit to help your former spouse better understand the critical nature of the situation.

Keep in mind that mediation cannot change the terms of a court-ordered sale. However, it can help smooth out issues that are causing the non-compliance in the first place. If successful, ex-spouses may be able to save substantial legal costs and time.

Find Support Enforcing a Divorce Court Order

At Parker & Aguilar, we focus on helping our clients find the best solution for their legal challenges. When you’re having problems with a court-ordered sale of property, we take charge with effective and timely solutions.

Our seasoned attorneys have worked through countless asset-related issues in divorce cases. We are confident we can identify a solution that fits your situation so that you can enter into post-divorce life with confidence.

We currently support clients in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston County, and Matagorda County. If you live in one of these counties, contact our offices ​​to discuss your divorce situation.

You can reach us at 979-267-7660 (Angleton office) or 281-944-5485 (Sugar Land office) to speak with an attorney. We’re ready to defend your rights.