My ex-husband died, am I sole owner of the house in Wisconsin? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Tammy J. in Waukesha, WI

Question Details:

My ex-husband and I went through a divorce. The court ordered us to sell our home. While we were waiting on an offer, my ex-husband died. Our daughter was appointed special administrator of his estate. My daughter wants me to join her in finding another broker to sell the house, but I don’t think I have to, as she is not my ex-husband. If she files a case or an order with the court, do I have to follow the order?

Family Law Attorney Response:

After looking at the details of your question, I think it would be best to follow the order if one is placed. While you can always argue and appeal an order, it would not be in your best interest.

Your case is similar to Lutzke v. Lutzke, 122 Wis.2d 24, 361 N.W.2d 640 (1985), where a mother appealed an order from a special administrator in joining in the sale of a house. While she did appeal, ultimately the Supreme Court decided against her appeal as he saw there were no stipulations or other orders between the original parties that stated if one died, the other would be the sole proprietor of a property. The court refused to sever the ownership, as that was not the original intention of the court.

If there are any more details you left out that you think could make a difference, give me a call so we can discuss.


Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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