The advanced knowledge and skills you gained from your CFL Designation for Divorce Practitioners help you resolve all kinds of financial issues in your family law practice. Your CFL™ credentials also prepared you to get divorce agreements settled right the first time. Otherwise, if something goes wrong, both parties might see themselves in court again later.
Such was the case in the Superior Court of New Jersey verdict of L.H. v. D.H. Despite a divorce ruling, the ex-wife didn’t get the couple’s mortgage refinanced under her own name, which later harmed her ex-husband’s credit score and his own mortgage loan application. Could he get a court order to force the sale of the home because she didn’t keep her part of the original bargain?
The couple divorced in 2012 when their mortgage was still under both of their names. Under the settlement agreement, the ex-wife, L.H., could stay in the home while D.H. would later give her his interest in it when she refinanced the loan under her name.
By 2014, D.H. had applied for his own mortgage and discovered his name was still on the marital home loan. Even worse, his credit rating had dropped, which hurt his chances to get a favorable mortgage rate. L.H. failed to refinance the home or have the loan transferred to her name only within the nine months she was given. She was also sometimes late in her payments. Therefore, D.H. filed a “post-judgment” motion to give him legal authority to sell the home and remove his ex from it, if necessary.
Superior Court Ruling
The Appellate Division sided with the ex-husband and the trial court in its decision. The ruling concluded that selling the home was the best solution, especially since L.H. had enough time to list it in the three years since the divorce. As a condition of the judgment, both parties had to agree on a real estate agent. During the sale process, L.H. also had to maintain the house and make all mortgage, tax, and home insurance payments on time. If she didn’t list the house, D.H. could sell it under a limited power of attorney, and L.H. would need to leave the property if she tried to prevent its sale.
In his ruling regarding the importance of a good credit score to rebuild finances, the judge cited a prior case, Cameron v. Cameron and said: “relevance of credit ratings following divorce cannot be overstated.”
Learn how to handle these and other aspects of financial settlements in divorce with a CFL™ Designation. Get our free information packet today!