Question: My ex was awarded the house in our divorce, as long as my ex refinances the house, so that I am removed from the loan encumbering the house. But it’s been months and my ex has not refinanced. My ex hasn’t even tried to refinance the loan to remove me as a liable party. Can the court order my ex to refinance now?
Answer: The court already ordered your ex to refinance, so what you’re really asking is whether the court can force your ex to refinance or perhaps speed up the refinance process. If the court determines that your ex is willfully violating the order to refinance, then the court can do some things to coerce your spouse, such as imposing a fine up $1,000, order your incarcerated in the county jail for up to 30 days, or both (these are known as sanctions for contempt of court; Utah Code Section 78B-6-310). If your ex has little or no money, a fine won’t be any motivation and, for that matter, neither may a jail sentence, but if your ex isn’t refinancing just to be lazy or malicious, sanctions for contempt of court might do the trick. If your ex cannot refinance and you worry about staying on the loan without the benefit of having possession of the house, you could file a motion or new law suit asking the court to order the house sold–that way the loan will get paid off and you won’t be liable anymore.
Utah Family Law, LC | 801-466-9277 | divorceutah.com