Can my hus­band’s ex-wife refuse to sell their prop­erty?

CityPress - - Business -

Tracy writes:

Imet my hus­band af­ter his di­vorce. The agree­ment when he di­vorced was that two prop­er­ties would have to be sold and the money split be­tween him and his for­mer wife.

How­ever, the process of dis­pos­ing of the prop­er­ties never hap­pened.

I mar­ried him about four years ago.

My ques­tion is, do I have the right to sell th­ese prop­er­ties on his be­half, see­ing that we are now mar­ried, so that I can fi­nalise the pay­out to his ex, who is be­ing very dif­fi­cult and keeps chang­ing her mind?

Soré Cloete, se­nior le­gal man­ager at Old Mu­tual, replies:

A lot would de­pend on the ex­act word­ing of his di­vorce set­tle­ment. For ex­am­ple, it may state that the ex-wife is en­ti­tled to “a” house, which may mean that the ex-wife is un­sure about which house/pro­ceeds she is en­ti­tled to.

Based on the in­for­ma­tion sup­plied, I would sug­gest that your hus­band sit down with his ex-wife and, with their lawyers present, de­ter­mine ex­actly what should hap­pen and then en­sure that it is ac­tioned.

But in gen­eral terms, whether you could sell the as­sets be­long­ing to your hus­band would de­pend on your mar­i­tal sta­tus. Based on the ques­tion, the “di­vorce debt” is still owed by your hus­band to his for­mer spouse.

If you are mar­ried to him in com­mu­nity of prop­erty, you have a joint es­tate and both you and your hus­band can act on be­half of that es­tate. How­ever, if you are mar­ried in com­mu­nity of prop­erty, both you and your hus­band would also need to agree to sell the as­sets reg­is­tered in his name.

If you are, on the other hand, mar­ried out of com­mu­nity of prop­erty, you may not sell your hus­band’s as­sets on his be­half to cover his debts.

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