What Do You Do When Your Spouse Won’t Make The House Payment In West Virginia Divorce?

What happens when a spouse in a West Virginia divorce has been ordered to make payments on the house and for whatever reason and doesn’t? Sometimes at a temporary hearing, one person or the other, will be required to make payments on the mortgage. The reason for that is to make sure that all the payments were made from the date of the temporary hearing all the way through the final hearing.

Sometimes though, even though somebody has been court ordered to make the payments, they don’t make the payments for whatever reason. One of the things that has to happen then at that point is the person who is being harmed by the non-payment and that’s usually both people are being harmed because most of the time, both people’s names are on the mortgage, but the person who is being harmed by the lack of the payments will file what we call a petition for contempt.

A petition for contempt is a petition that’s filed when somebody is not making the required payments on an obligation or they’re not doing something in general, they’re supposed to do pursuant to the court order. What one does when one person is not making payments on the house, is file what’s called a petition for contempt. In West Virginia, there are forms at the courthouse that you can fill out or you can hire an attorney to actually fill it out for you and complete the paperwork and get it filed and served for you.

What happens is the person has a contempt filed against them. Once the contempt is filed, then a hearing is set and the couple getting divorced appears in front of the judge. At this point the judge can do a few things. Number one, the judge has the authority to make the person catch up on the payments and that’s certainly the overall goal. No one wants the house going into foreclosure and credit to be dinged. The court will usually order the person to catch up on the payments. In some instances, the court will actually order attorney fees. Whether one is awarded the attorney fees is really going to matter as in terms of the judge on the case. It does really depend on the judge.

One files it and then they get an order at the end of the day that says, this person is contempt of court. It might say catch up on the payments. It might say, for example, pay this person’s attorney fees. In really limited instances, the court might incarcerate the person but it’s very rare that the courts will do that. However, they do have that authority to do it. Unfortunately the one thing you can’t get back at least immediately is your credit being repaired and that’s something that’s really unfortunate, but sometimes it happens.unnamed (3).png