Motion to Compel? Quitclaim Deed? Motion to Show Cause?

My husband and his ex wife divorced two years ago. There are very inadequate lawyers in NC so they had an unincorporated separation agreement. There divorce decree mentions the separation agreement but it was never signed by a judge. The problem is that the ex picks and chooses which pieces she wants to follow. The separation agreement stipulates that my husband absorbed full financial owenership of a property in Oklahoma. The ex’s name is still on the title and she has convinced the tentant to stop paying the mortgage payments on the house. The current tenant has lived there for the past 10 years. The ex wife name is on the title but not the mortgage. The OK register of deeds said the separation agreement would be enough to remove her name from the title of the legal description was in there rather than just the address. We submitted a quitclaim deed to the ex but she refuses to sign it. She also refuses to allow my husband to claim one of their children on taxes which is in the agreement as well. My question is how does one file a motion to compel and/or show cause to get the quitclaim deed signed and how to force her to allow him to claim one child as stated in the agreement. We have been the lawyer route and they just don’t care. NC lawyers say call OK. OK lawyers say call NC. We have talked to Harnett county and nothing. So now we have to pay the mortgage on the home and the tenant gets to live there for free until we can get her evicted. And if we get her evicted, we can sell or refinance the property if the ex won’t sign to do it. What can we do?

It is very common to have a separation agreement that is not incorporated into the absolute divorce judgment. When that is the case, and one party fails to do something required in the separation agreement, then the other party can file a breach of contract lawsuit against the party not doing what they are required to do. This would be filed in the county you currently live in. In contrast, if there is a court order and someone is violating it, then you would file a contempt motion. Your husband should include all instances of his ex-wife failing to follow the separation agreement, including any requirements regarding the Oklahoma property and claiming children on taxes, and he should list his damages for each item that she has failed to do.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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