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Wife defies stipulation for division of property. What can be done to force her and obtain sanctions?

Newport Beach, CA |

My wife and I stipulated that she would sign over the home to me to obtain a loan modification during our divorce and we would determine the division of the property at a later date. This was in court and signed by a judge. Now she is stating that she will not comply with the stipulation. Two actions were recommended to me: 1) file for contempt 2) make a motion to compel the sale. What course of action do I have to force her to comply with the stipulation and to get sanctions as a result of her non-compliance?

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Attorney answers 2


Read your Stipulation carefully - does it provide that if your wife does cooperate in the signing of the documents to "sign over the home" to you that you have the right to ask the Judge to have the court clerk sign in place of your wife? That would be a valuable condition to have included in the Stipulation in case your wife refused to sign, as it appears she is refusing to do. You may be able to file a Request for Order to enforce the Stipulation and have your spouse "sign over the home" to you at the hearing and/or have the court clerk sign the necessary paperwork if your wife does not appear at the hearing.

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I would file a motion to enfore the order. I can't tell by your question whether you have started the loan modification and up against some dates. If so I would request an order shortening time for hearing and service to obtain an earlier date. You want to conclude this issue as soon as possible and I think the motion to enforce will accomplish. On the other hand, sometimes the mere fact a contempt action is filed the non compliant conduct gets becomes corrected from the threat of having to answer to the court when no defense exists.

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