Enforcement Options If Spouse Refuses To Move Out

divorce lawyer Caroline ThompsonQuestion:

I was awarded the marital home in our divorce decree, but my ex-wife is refusing to leave the house on the court-ordered date.

Can I call the police and have her removed from the home if she does not comply by the date ordered or must I go through the courts for enforcement?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Pennsylvania divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Since you have an enforceable court order, you certainly have the right to inform the police that the order is not being abided.

However, in my state, the police typically do not engage in the enforcement of divorce orders, which could be very different in your state.

A further drawback is that until such time as the date has arrived and passed in which your ex-wife is to vacate the residence, the police will not be able to enforce the order.

If the police are unwilling to enforce the court order, you, unfortunately, will have to proceed through the courts for enforcement.

A potential benefit to proceeding through the court could be that if your ex-wife has communicated to you in writing that she is unwilling to vacate the residence on the set date, the court may be able to put in a subsequent order that the police are to assist with the enforcement of the original order and decree.

In my state, if your ex-wife refuses to vacate on the date she is ordered to, then you could file an emergency petition. This means that the court should conduct a hearing on your petition on an expedited basis and you can have your petition heard by a judge much sooner than you would if you went through the normal course.

Also, in my state, if you are forced to file a petition to enforce a court order and you have used the services of an attorney, you can request that your ex-wife be responsible for your attorney fees.

It would be the judge’s discretion if counsel fees were awarded, but you are certainly entitled to ask for payment of your legal expenses.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with divorce lawyers for men in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer Caroline J. Thompson, contact Cordell & Cordell.

End of Content Icon

4 comments on “Enforcement Options If Spouse Refuses To Move Out

    My father divorced his wife over 20 years ago and have been marriage again twice since. Unknowing to him his name still remain on the house. The ex wife has not paid taxes in 20 years and when my father refinanced his current home his money was taken and applied to the home of the ex wife. What are his options to remove her from the home?

    I got consent order where I paid her to buy house and she got her house to leave in , however she put her house on rent and not moving out of my house. We do have 7 year old child. SHe want to take her 100% and not agree on shared ownership. I have apply in court to enforce but no luck.

    Please advise what will be the best amicable option for me. I do not want to call police and my child see all mess. So taking clam steps to move her out. Also she is not agree on interim child arrangement either till court decide on final order .

    good day. my husband was married and divorced 15 years ago and the order stipulated that she must buy him out of the house but failed to do. Now the court has issued eviction order in March 2018 and she was evicted on the 28/03/2018 by the sheriff of the high court but she broke in and moved back in which I believe is illegal and trespassing. she is threatening to kill him and broke his phone as he was trying to call the police and almost hit him with a chain but was stopped by her sister. he opened a case against her for intimidation and protection order which was granted yesterday. Today he was accompanied by the SAPS to serve her with protection order but she was not found at the house. what do we do in this case?

    Also, you are entitled to file at your divorce court, a Motion for Contempt, not on ex-parte basis. If the court find your wife in violation of the court order, then, she could be liable for civil contempt penalty and the probate judge may penalize her with a fine, and, there is a possibility of a jail sentence in the event that she continues disobeying the court order.

    Moreover, you have an option to file an eviction procedures at the district court based on the fact that you are the owner of the house and the residency of your wife has expired pursuant to the probate court order.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *