Every family lawyer has their stories of husbands or wives making life difficult for their spouse during divorce proceedings. The Evening Standard recently reported on a divorce case where it she was described as turning the former matrimonial home into a ‘fortress’ and refused to leave the property.

According to the Evening Standard, the court ordered that the property should be sold and the proceeds divided between her and her husband. The court was told that the wife locked her husband out of the house, refused to give keys to him and “dared a judge to jail her”. She is said to have refused entry to estate agents and resisted bailiffs. It is reported that one bailiff was injured by a concrete bird feeder falling on his head from a top floor window.

When coping with separation, divorce and then financial remedy proceedings it is often difficult if not impossible to separate the emotional ties to property and possessions with the harsh financial reality of division of the assets. The property has most likely been a home which will hold many memories for the parties, but upon separation the court must look at the financial circumstances of each case and, where it is fair to do so, allow each party to be in a position to move on.

The court has the power to order sale of a property and can make orders to deal with people who try to delay sale or simply ignore the orders that are made. A judge can order that one person move out of the property if they are obstructing a sale. A judge can order how the property is sold if agreement cannot be reached between the parties, for example it can specify the sale price. The court can also execute documents to progress the sale of the property if a party refuses to sign a document.

Despite the court’s considerable powers, the court process is often slow and parties are often left waiting for the next order to be made before being able to move forward to the next stage. The legal costs can be substantial. Often one party, or both, are still paying the mortgage and bills on the property. In the case above the husband continued to meet the mortgage payments and outgoings on the property. In many cases one party just wants to move on and is being held back by the other. In these cases active case management by the court and experienced legal representation is invaluable.

The family solicitors at Jordans are experienced in dealing with all aspects of divorce and financial remedy proceedings. Our professional and passionate team will help you resolve financial issues in the way that is right for you.


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