Agreement unambiguous – “decide to sell” means acceptance of an offer, Ky Court of Appeals published opinion

Dog in Moving Box

Wagner v. Wagner

Parties entered into a property settlement agreement which required Former Husband to make monthly mortgage payments on the marital residence until such time that Former Wife “decided to sell” the property. Former Wife listed the marital residence for sale, but did not receive any offers. Former Husband ceased making mortgage payments, resulting in foreclosure. Family Court denied Former Wife’s motion to hold Former Husband in contempt. Former Wife argued Former Husband was required to make the mortgage payments until Former Wife accepted an offer or until the marital residence actually sold while Former Husband argued his obligation ended when Former Wife listed the property for sale.

The Court of Appeals found that “the act of listing property for sale with a real estate broker is proof only of the owner’s decision to solicit offers, and not proof of her decision to sell” and that “a property owner’s decision to sell is evidenced by acceptance of an offer to purchase.” The Court of Appeals held that the property settlement agreement was unambiguous as to when the husband’s obligation to pay the mortgage terminated and that the Family Court erred when it denied Former wife’s motion to hold Former Husband in contempt.

Digested by Emily T. Cecconi

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