She Took The Kitchen Sink and Your Property’s Now Condemned…Fight Back!

by Deborah.Nguyen on August 14, 2013

  • Sumo

When two people decide to split their legal bonds, it can quickly become very ugly. Tempers flare, words are said, and actions are taken that are destructive. In the end, it causes more hardships, financial problems and legal issues than one could have imagined. Sadly, this is all-too-often the case when it comes to splitting the real property; it is very rarely a smooth transition.

One of the most common problems that occur in a divorce, for instance, is when one spouse decides to leave the relationship and not only removes all the possessions from the home but willfully damages the home. Holes are knocked into the walls, tiles are smashed, light fixtures and ceiling fans are damaged, sinks and toilets are broken, the list can go on forever. The remaining spouse returns home to find it empty and destroyed.

What Can the Remaining Spouse Do?

The home, in its current state is not habitable. It cannot be sold. There will be extensive repair costs. If this should happen to you, should you be stuck with all the costs? Are you going to have to allow the home to enter into foreclosure? The answer is simple: Sue for damages. If you have not already done so, get legal help. No monkeying around. If you live anywhere in Florida but your marriage is no longer magical, call an Orlando divorce lawyer and begin regaining your property rights.

Going To Court Over Damages

After you have taken pictures of all the extensive damage, you will need to call the police and file a report. Once you have filed a criminal activity report, you will need to call repair companies to come in and quote how much the repairs will cost. Once you have this information, you will need to contact an attorney.

If the divorce has not been finalized, you can include the costs for damages to the home as part of your divorce settlement. You will have to work diligently with your attorney to get the offending spouse to pay for their actions. You may have to request that the Court see proof that the damages were paid for before granting the divorce. Depending on the situation, your attorney may have to get very creative to ensure that you are treated fairly.

If the divorce has already been finalized, you will have to sue your former spouse for the damages. This will require the services of an attorney, especially if the damages exceed $15,000. However, it should be noted that even if you win, there is no guarantee that the offending ex-spouse will pay. You may have to battle for a long time to receive your payment.

Trying To Prevent This From Happening

While it is no guarantee, the best way to prevent this type of scenario from happening is by demanding that the house be sold and the profits split as part of the divorce settlement. If the other spouse knows that they have something to gain by selling the home, they are far less likely to damage the home. It is usually when one spouse is awarded the home and the other spouse must leave that this type of damage occurs.

If it is not possible to handle the situation in this manner, you will have to sue your former spouse for any and all damages that they caused.

Divorce is never fun. Tempers are fiery and emotions are raw. It’s best to approach divorce with a clear head and compassion for the person you promised at one time to share the rest of your life with.

Debbie Nguyen is a blogger and designer in Atlanta. In researching for a friend who owns property in Florida, she found Orlando divorce lawyer Katz & Phillips, P.A. have been successfully helping their clients through property issues.



Debbie is a blogger, graphic and product designer, compulsive reader, writer, knitter, and chef.

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