The Court have made an order about my property but my former spouse isn’t complying
5 April 2022 by Charlotte Knappett
Within financial proceedings arising from divorce, the Court has the power to make various orders concerning the family home or other properties owned by either party. These are called property adjustment orders and could be either for a sale or transfer of ownership of a property.
What happens though if one person does not comply with the Order and refuses to sign necessary documentation to sell the property, or effect a transfer?
The Court has various powers to assist in getting around such an issue.
The Court can order that one person has the sole conduct of the sale of the property. Therefore, that party is fully in charge of all necessary mechanics of the sale. However, this does not get around the issue of a joint owner having to sign paperwork to affect a transfer or sale of the property, so that this can be registered at the Land Registry.
Another option is to apply to the Court for a penal notice to be attached to the order so that any continued breach of the order by the other party would be Contempt of Court. Contempt of Court is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. Therefore, it does carry significant consequences if the other party still refuses to comply with the order.
The Court also has power to make an order pursuant to section 39(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981, so that the execution (signing) of a Deed, or other relevant document, can be signed by a nominated person. This is sometimes a Judge. But it may also be someone else, for instance, a partner in the firm of solicitors representing the applicant. In the first instance, the Court must make an order requiring the other party to sign. But, if they do not, the nominated person can then do so.
A solicitor can advise you as to the best approach, and appropriate legal remedy in your situation.
If you would like to arrange a confidential chat with one of our experienced family law solicitors as to how they can support you through your divorce, or you would like further information on the services we offer, please call 01206 835320 or email [email protected]
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