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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34895
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My mother in law is living with us because her estranged husband

Customer Question

My mother in law is living with us because her estranged husband (they have had decree nisi) keeps making excuses for not putting their marital home up for auction. Can she get a court order to make him sign contract with auctioneer?
The house is vacant and she is paying all utility bills.
They have not agreed financial settlement for divorce.
Decree nisi was granted 3 years ago.
He would need to be ordered to sign within 2 weeks... would a quick court order be prohibitively expensive?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How far have the financial negotiations reached?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They both did a declaration and they agreed that their assets should be split 50/50 but the solicitor advised that the marital home needed to be sold before financials could be finalised.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Has there been a court order sealed by the Court and why does it have to be sold at Auction?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, no court order to sell the house has been issued. Can that be done? Both parties agree that auction is best option as the house has a long history of neighbour disputes, needs a lot of modernisation and the private treaty process will potentially be too awkward in terms of communication and time scale.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
I am afraid that it will take more than two weeks - but what needs to happen is that a Consent Order is drawn up confirming that the house will be sold at Auction and how the proceeds - and any other monies - should be divided
Once that has been sealed by the court then if need be your mother in law can ask the court to sign the paperwork instead of her ex - and her ex will have to pay the costs
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK. So we have to instruct a solicitor to draw up a Consent Order and this has to be a conclusive document, going through their financial settlement for divorce? Can it exclude a financial settlement and just state that the house must be sold?

Then, once the house is sold, can the actual split of assets / financial settlement be done outside of court?

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
I am afraid not - the point of the Consent Order is to reflect the Financial agreement that has been reached.
If in fact no agreement has been reached then your mother in law will have to start a financial application in order that the court can decide what should happen to the house and how any proceeds should be divided
This is done using a Form A available here
and the fee is £310.
This will start a court process which will resolve matters - but will not be swift