Q: My ex-spouse and I own a house. He’s living in the house and I live elsewhere.

We’ve just received a court order that states the house is be placed for sale. My ex has been ordered to cooperate with the sale and help make the house presentable for sale.

But to date, the house has not yet been listed because he says he is not ready for the agent to view the home. Apparently, the house is in total disrepair.

Considering that I’m the co-owner, should I be able to view the home to help determine what we might do to prepare it for sale?

A: As a co-owner, you should be able to view the property. But that doesn’t mean your ex-spouse isn’t going to make it difficult for you to do so.

Try talking to your ex-spouse to find a time when he can be there to walk around the property with you. Ask if he would be willing to move out of the home before it is sold, so you can at least have it cleaned professionally and perhaps get more money for the property.

If he is unwilling to work with you, you may have to go back to court. Consult with your attorney for more details.

Jan. 19, 2009.