Can my spouse force me to sell my home? 6 Answers as of December 18, 2014

My husband and I have a house under both of our names. We have been separated for 4 years. He moved out and I stayed in our home. I have been making every mortgage payment on that house. I’m currently going to court to obtain guardianship for my grandchildren because my daughter is incarcerated for 19 years. Now he wants to force me to sell the house and he wants half. What can I do? I’m very overwhelmed and have no idea what to do.


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Laing Law Office | R. Bruce Laing
If your husband is on the title, the short answer is yes, if he either files a partition action, or files a family law proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation. In either case he could force you to either buy out his share of the home (he probably owns less than 50% because you have paid down equity on the mortgage) or sell the house and divide the net proceeds. In a family law proceeding, all of your community property assets would be divided 50-50. If he has a retirement plan, you may be able to trade your interest in it to him for his equity interest in the house. You should see a family law lawyer immediately to discuss your options. Your other option is to wait until he either files for dissolution of marriage or partition by sale. I recommend option one. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/18/2014
Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
Yes, he can probably obtain a court order to sell the house. Your option is to buy him out of his half of the equity.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/18/2014
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Suggest you obtain the services of a family law lawyer to obtain an injunction against your husband, and maybe work out a purchase of his half of the residence.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/18/2014
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
Since you are equal owners of the house, you have equal rights, so he can not force you to sell the house. He could file a partition action lawsuit to get the court to order that the house be sold, but that would cost him about $15,000 and the court might not grant it because you have been making all the payments for the last four years. Has he paid anything for the house, such as property taxes, utility bills [there is a base charge even if you do not use the service so he is responsible for half of that even if you are responsible for the amount above the base charge]. Tell him you want within 30 days his half of the mortgage payments and of the utility bills and another household expenses. That will likely make him back down. Why remain married to such a person? Talk to a divorce attorney [the first 15-20 minutes are normally free] and see if he has to pay you any alimony and if you will be able to keep the house. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/17/2014
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
He cannot be forced to continue to own the home with you. You will either have to buy him out or the house will have to be sold. I am sorry I don't have better news.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/17/2014
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Yes, your husband can force a sale. If no agreement can be reached, he can file what is known as a ?partition action?, asking for a court order for sale and division of proceeds. Our advise is to try to reach an agreement for sale and division. He should give credit in some fashion for your payments, but this can get complicated as there is also the element of appreciation in value since he moved out, together with the question of separate v. community property. You might want to consider the service of a mediator who is a lawyer familiar with family law. Your LOCAL bar assn. can give you a referral.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/17/2014
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