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Will a Domestic Relations Court award property on a motion to show cause?

Cleveland, OH |
Filed under: Divorce

I filed a motion to show cause on my ex for not paying on the house for the past 3 years, never made a child support payment in 3 years, does not take his kids for visitation & 2 debts awarded to him have placed liens on the house. I want to take the house back to try to stop the foreclosure since this would have pretty serious consequences to mine & my kids lives. In the original Divorce ex was responsible for the mortgage but possession of the home was not awarded to either party, just lists that it was in a foreclosure case & that case has since been dismissed. Will the court be willing to award me the house? He will not agree to anything, he'd rather it foreclose than see me & his kids in it. Please help

Thank you for your answer, there is no equity in the house but there is a new foreclosure case started this year & I have talked to the bank & they are willing to work with me IF I can get possession of it. Is it possible for the court to order it to foreclose instead of letting me take it over?

Attorney Answers 2


As you can imagine, you have a very unique situation; because the foreclosure has been dismissed, it is likely that the court will have to make some decision regarding the house. If your husband has been ordered to make payments on the house and he has not complied, the court will not likely be happy about that; however, that in and of itself will not mean that the court will just award it to you. If you want the house and are able to make payments on the house, the court will probably divide the house as they should have from the beginning and as they normally would any other asset. If there is any equity in the house (which I'm assuming there isn't and that is why it was in foreclosure) then the house would divide the equity. If there is no equity, I beleive the Court may award it to you by virtue of the fact that you can make the payments. Just because you can get the house, doesn't necessarily mean that you should. You stated in your question that there are two liens on the house. You will not only be responsible for the mortgage on the house but even if you eventually pay off the house, those liens will remain unless he takes care of them (and I am assuming that he won't), that means you will have to clear up those liens if you want the house free and clear. Hope this helps.

I am a licensed attorney in the State of Ohio. All of my answers are from the perspective of an Ohio case. This answer is not to be construed as giving legal advice nor does this create and attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney in your area to evaluate your specific circumstances and to determine your rights and obligations.

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The other attorney's answer is legally correct, however, there are sometimes aspects to a case that go beyond the legal answer. This may be one such case. One of the options of the court is to impose a jail sentence for a violation of contempt of court. With a cooperative court, he may decide that he is willing to sign a deed (in exchange for a dismissal of the contempt action) rather than go to jail. This is a tricky negotiation, so I would have an attorney handle it for you.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Mr. Piper’s response set forth above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Mr. Piper’s responses to all questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information based upon the his understanding of the facts stated in the question, and are for the general educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual. Also, a particular case may involve additional facts and circumstances which might invalidate some or all of the concepts provided in this answer and therefore you should not rely upon this answer in any individual situation. In order to offer legal advice about this or any similar situation, a qualified attorney would likely need to consider many factors not stated in the question and would need to question the potential client in order to clarify the specific facts operable in that case. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, it is recommended that you contact an attorney in your state. Mr. Piper is licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio, and may be contacted directly via email at:

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