My House, My Rules: Forcing the Sale of the Family Home

Forcing the Sale of the Family Home

Your ex stuck you with the bill for the family home and took off. You can’t afford to continue to pay the mortgage. Debt is adding up and the taxes are due. Foreclosure is a real possibility. You tell your ex to sign off on selling the property, and he/she refuses. How do you protect your credit, and the equity in the home? 

One option: force the sale of the matrimonial home.

Partition and Sale involves applying to the court and receiving an order to force the sale of the property. In creating the order, the court can specify the following parameters for the sale:

Granting one spouse sole decision making for the sale process

This allows control of all aspects of the sale including, but not limited to, who the realtor will be, the listing price, and when the property will be shown to potential buyers. In situations of a pending foreclosure, this order is especially valuable as it permits control of the price point.

Requiring no signature from one spouse to sell the property

This allows signature of listing agreements, contracts of purchase and sale, bank mortgages, lines of credit, and other documents necessary for listing and selling a home exclusive of your uncooperative (or in some cases, absent) ex.

Holding the proceeds from the sale of the family home in a bank account until there is a decision on how to divide them

The court will often deposit the money either into a court trust account, or into a lawyer’s trust account until a decision on its division. Often, a request for interim distribution of family property is made so that some money from the sale can be accessed in the short term. In cases of a “disappearing ex”, funds may get paid out immediately.

What You Need to Do

Gather any financial documents you can regarding the home, as well as documents proving your ability to keep up with the payments.

At Coach My Case, we know the terrain of forced the sale and, in circumstances of an uncooperative ex, we seek to ensure the matrimonial home remains “my house, my rules”. Please contact us if you would like to set up a consultation with our Legal Navigator.