It is always sensible to draft final orders with one eye on enforcement. An order for sale of the former matrimonial home (‘FMH’) can be a particularly emotive order, often fiercely resisted by one of the parties. This post is a summary of practical suggestions to ensure a sale goes smoothly when anticipating – and trying to avoid – tricky problems of enforcement.
A default provision of the sale of FMH can also be a useful tool to avoid enforcement issues in relation to other orders, e.g. payment of lump sum. The following provisions can similarly be attached to an order sale in default. Remember to include the division of net proceeds of sale in such circumstances.
1. Try and pre-empt practical problems arising
Consider including the following as provisions attaching to the order for sale:
e.g. “the FMH shall be placed on the open market for sale forthwith with such estate agents as may be agreed between the parties or in default of agreement determined by the court”;
“such solicitors as may be agreed between the parties or in default of agreement determined by the court shall have the conduct of the conveyancing work relating to the sale”;
Even better to avoid unnecessary further correspondence – try and agree the identity at court. Ask your client to have a think about this before if possible.
2. Consider financial arrangements before sale
These provisions should help protect your client from problems arising – so you can hopefully avoid enforcement proceedings.