Phoenix, AZ asked in Divorce and Family Law for Arizona

Q: I went through a divorce recently and the decree states for her to pay out a certain $$. Also it states to refinance.

If she is able to pay me out but not refinance, is she held in contempt? It also states to sell property if she can’t meet the court’s ruling. Please let me know, thank you!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kristina Cervone
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  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: For someone to be found in contempt, the facts must show that the person knew about the order and willfully disobeyed the order. Based on what you stated, it appears the court is most likely trying to accomplish two goals with its order: pay you the equity in the property that your ex retained and remove you from the lien on that property. Therefore, she has to do both: pay you the certain amount owed and refinance to remove you from the loan. Keep in mind that if she can give a compelling argument as to why she did not refinance, some judges may not find her in contempt if she paid you the money that was owed but didn't refinance. Every judge is different, and this type of question can be very fact-specific. So make sure to consult with counsel before you proceed with any type of contempt petition because the exact wording of the order is key and could create a completely different situation.

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