In the divorce decree it states that I will receive a specified lump sum payment when my ex-wife sells the marital home, which she was awarded.
If she pays off the marital residence early, what forces her to pay me anything when it gets sold?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Oklahoma divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
Without seeing the exact language of your divorce decree it is very hard to answer your question.
What is written in the decree is what is ordered. If the decree indicates that you only receive the money if the house is sold, then that is the only way for will receive your portion of the equity.
It is very likely that there were other provisions regarding the marital residence, such as requiring her to refinance or remove your name from the loan.
If she has violated any portion of the decree, then you possibly have an action for contempt.
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Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.