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Can Husband Force Me to Sell Our Home?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 17 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Can Husband Force Me To Sell Our Home?

Q.

My husband and I are splitting up. We own our house outright and have no mortgage on it. I haven't the finances to buy him out of it. He earns £3500 a month and I earn £840 a month. I raised his kids for 12 years while he kept the child allowance. At the time we equally shared all the bills. Can he make me sell the house to give him his share of the equity?

(A.C, 10 July 2009)

A.

When you are going through a break up from a long term partner there is always much more than the emotional turmoil to deal with. The practical issues can really weigh on your mind and trying to split assets and money is never a pleasant experience.

The Marital Home

If both of your names are on the papers then your husband cannot make you sell the house without your agreement at this time. The courts can give an order forcing you to sell up if your husband goes down this route or as part of a divorce settlement. However, if you are living there with your children then he will have to be able to show good reason why you should do this.

If all his money is tied up in the house for example, then he may be able to convince a court that he needs to sell the house in order to live.

You mention that he earns more than you and that you shared the bills throughout your marriage. How you managed your money within your marriage bares no relevance to your legal standing and you have as much right to the homes as he does.

If your children are still of school age then your husband will need to pay you child support to help you be able to afford to raise them and the courts will take their welfare into account when deciding on the home.

Have you sat down and talked your husband about this? It won’t be an easy conversation to have as there will no doubt be a lot of emotion and resentment on both sides. However, if you can discuss the situation in a mature manner you may find that you can come to an agreement that you are both happy with.

As there is no mortgage on the property you do not need to worry about splitting the payments so the arrangement may be simpler. Another thing you need to do is to consult a lawyer so that you are clear of exactly where you stand legally and are able to talk to your husband in an informed way about what your options are.

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Vxr888 - Your Question:
My husband has left the marriage. We've been together a while and have been living together 18 months but married less than a year.We are both on the mortgage and own the house together. I do not work as I'm a stay at home mum, he has a good job paying well. Can he force the sale of the home to split equity? I am living in the property with my two children (his step-children.)What would a court decide? If I stayed in the home would he be responsible for a proportion of the mortgage too?I am not in a position to buy him out or take on the mortgage on my own.I'm scared I'll be forced out with the children. Help!

Our Response:
I'm afraid you would need to seek legal advice regarding this because of the many variants i.e the children being your ex's stepchildren and not biological, whether there is any equity in the house, the amount you have both financially contributed to the home. The easiest way to move forward is to come to a mutual agreement and/or sell the house and pay off the mortgage and split any equity. However, life is not always as straightforward and if you can't agree the last resort is court. If there are children involved then their well-being will be the primary concern of the court. However, the court will also consider both parties' financial circumstances when making a decision. I assume your husband will not wish to be tied into a mortgage of a house he no longer lives in. In certain circumstances (if the children are biologically his, he can be made to continue to pay). However, as he has no parental responsibility of the children, then he is not obligated to pay towards their long term financial upkeep.
RelationshipExpert - 18-May-17 @ 1:49 PM
My husband has left the marriage. We've been together a while and have been living together 18 months but married less than a year... We are both on the mortgage and own the house together. I do not work as I'm a stay at home mum, he has a good job paying well. Can he force the sale of the home to split equity? I am living in the property with my two children (his step-children.) What would a court decide? If I stayed in the home would he be responsible for a proportion of the mortgage too? I am not in a position to buy him out or take on the mortgage on my own. I'm scared I'll be forced out with the children... Help!
Vxr888 - 17-May-17 @ 10:39 PM
Ani - Your Question:
My husband and I are separated. He left the family home 6 months ago and wants me to sell so he can get some equity to buy another house. The house is in his name but was our 'marital home', I contributed financially to it and raised our son there. My son is 14 and I have an adult child from another partner living here too. He has a substantially bigger earning potential than me, and has chosen to only see our son twice a week for a few hours. Would a court permit us to stay until our son is 18?While we try to reach an agreement, can he tell me what to do in the house? Can he stop me from getting a lodger or becoming a foster parent?

Our Response:
If your marriage has been long and you were married and have a son with your ex, then the house is less likely to be wholly considered a non-marital asset (an asset your husband owns outright). This means you will have a claim both financially and it is likely a court would allow you to stay in the house until your son leaves full-time education at 18, as a court will always put the child's best interests first. A court may try to prevent another partner moving into to the house. However, we can't specify what it may decide with regards to other factors.
RelationshipExpert - 2-May-17 @ 11:11 AM
My husband and I are separated. He left the family home 6 months ago and wants me to sell so he can get some equity to buy another house. The house is in his name but was our 'marital home', I contributed financially to it and raised our son there. My son is 14 and I have an adult child from another partner living here too. He has a substantially bigger earning potential than me, and has chosen to only see our son twice a week for a few hours. Would a court permit us to stay until our son is 18? While we try to reach an agreement, can he tell me what to do in the house? Can he stop me from getting a lodger or becoming a foster parent?
Ani - 1-May-17 @ 3:38 PM
My husband left me 3 years ago. I'm nearly 60 I foster. I have 3 adult children at home who cant afford to get on the property ladder. He wants me to sell house, if I do I will not be able to buy enother property, won't have enough funds. I'm In a IVA because of the debt he left me. I've met a man now who has 3 adult children, who lives with his mum he has no property either. Is there help out there or can he force me to move?
Wow - 27-Mar-17 @ 11:20 AM
Lindy lou - Your Question:
My brother and his wife have recent divorced but both continue to live In the same house.His ex won't agree to him buying her out or selling with 50/50 split.There are no children Involved as they have left the home.The situation is dire and other than him walking away and losing everything as the house would be 're possessed he doesn't know what to do.

Our Response:
If there has been no financial agreement regarding the jointly owned property, then he could suggest family arbitration prior to court. Family arbitration is a method of dispute resolution in which a third party will gather evidence, mediate between your brother and his ex and make a decision about the split of the finances (which is deemed final and overseen by the courts). However, if your brother's ex refuses all communication, then he would have to apply to take the matter to court and the court will decide what happens to the house.
RelationshipExpert - 22-Mar-17 @ 12:35 PM
My brother and his wife have recent divorced but both continue to live In the same house .His ex won't agree to him buying her out or selling with 50/50 split. There are no children Involved as they have left the home. The situation is dire and other than him walking away and losing everything as the house would be 're possessed he doesn't know what to do.
Lindy lou - 21-Mar-17 @ 10:27 PM
Olafi - Your Question:
Me and my husband are going through a divorce. We have bought share ownership apartment which 99% of the deposit was mine. We have two boys age 7 and 2 and live there for 6 years. We are both on the conract. We have £35000 dept and my husband wants to sell the house pay off depts and split in half. Shall we split in half even I brought most of the money for deposit? Can he force me to sell it? I also have big house abroad which partly is under my name can he seek some money from this also? Thank you

Our Response:
If you are married, all assets are considered jointly owned. If you bought your house pre-marriage, it is likely to be considered a pre-marital asset and in all likelihood will remain owned by you, unless your husband can prove he has financially invested into the property. With regards to your debts, if they are in joint names then each party is individually liable for the whole remaining balance of the debt. This means a creditor can pursue either, or both parties until the debt is cleared in full. If you are the primary carer of your children, then a court may allow you to remain in your current home with the children (if the matter goes to court). However, this does not solve the issue of paying your debts between you and your husband. Therefore, professional legal advice would be useful here.
RelationshipExpert - 21-Mar-17 @ 11:08 AM
Me and my husband are going through a divorce. We have bought share ownership apartment which 99% of the deposit was mine. We have two boys age 7 and 2 and live there for 6 years. We are both on the conract. We have £35000 dept and my husband wants to sell the house pay off depts and split in half. Shall we split in half even I brought most of the money for deposit? Can he force me to sell it? I also have big house abroad which partly is under my name can he seek some money from this also? Thank you
Olafi - 20-Mar-17 @ 11:31 AM
My question is my ex and I are about to go through a divorce we have four children three living at home I am severely disabled with half spinal cord and it just going through my fourth spinal cord surgery he is also disabled and works on the side off the books I've had 23 restraining orders on in feet from assault and battery from you lying about me and having me arrested and so on now he's decided he wants a pot of my 40 P he is not listed on the title whatsoever and I support the three children
Dawn - 19-Mar-17 @ 1:27 AM
sheila - Your Question:
My daughters husband has left her and wants 50% of the house the house was hers before she married him she was a single mum to a girl 2 years after marrying him she found out he had £40.000 debt which he hid from her her daughter is 20 now is he entitled to force her to sell her home so he can have his half they have been married 10 yrs

Our Response:
Your daughter would have to seek legal advice regarding this. If your daughter owned the house prior to marriage, in theory it is considered a non-marital asset (owned by your daughter and not deemed part of a divorce settlement). However, in practice, it is not quite as straightforward and much will depend upon how much her husband has invested into the house financially (i.e the likes of home improvements, restoration, refurbishment etc) and this 'may' be taken into consideration should the matter go to court. Therefore, a legal professional will give your daughter more insight into her rights and options and the probability of whether her ex may be successful if he made a claim.
RelationshipExpert - 10-Mar-17 @ 11:08 AM
my daughters husband has left her and wants 50% of the house the house was hers before she married him she was a single mum to a girl 2 years after marrying him she found out he had £40.000 debt which he hid from her her daughter is 20 now is he entitled to force her to sell her home so he can have his half they have been married 10 yrs
sheila - 9-Mar-17 @ 9:04 AM
Hi so me and partner are separating. He told me I can buy him out as he can't afford the morgage. We had three valuations including one from the morgage lender. 197000. 190000and 195000.I offered 195000. He said no and wants on the market to try make more money.Can I force him to accept my buy out?
Tjtommy - 16-Jan-17 @ 9:03 PM
Kel - Your Question:
Our house was in negative equity when we split and behind with the mortgage. I paid off the arrears which took me two years now house has got equity he has demanded it be sold and half the profit. The mortgage is in both our names but he has never paid anything at all since he left. I had to leave the house because he had a court order not to come near me as he was violent he left a week later and I went back and staeyed We have no children can he make me sell and claim half the equity. I paid all arrears on my own and kept paying mortgage on my ow which I can prove.

Our Response:
If there is a dispute, you would have to either seek legal advice or take the matter to arbitration. The contributions you have both made with regards to the finances will be assessed as well as your co-ownership of the house. If you cannot buy your ex out, you may be forced to sell dependent upon the amount your ex is considered to be owed.
RelationshipExpert - 9-Dec-16 @ 2:40 PM
Our house was in negative equity when we split and behind with the mortgage. I paid off the arrearswhich took me two years now house has got equity he has demanded it be sold and half the profit. The mortgage is in both our names but he has never paid anything at all since he left. I had to leave the house because he had a court order not to come near me as he was violent he left a week later and I went back and staeyed We have no children can he make me sell and claim half the equity. I paid all arrears on my own and kept paying mortgage on my ow which I can prove.
Kel - 3-Dec-16 @ 2:55 PM
Me and my wife have recently separated. We've been married just over 4 years. There are 2 children involved. One who she came into the relationship with and my son whom we had together. I am the only person on the mortgage and and my wife hasn't worked so has not contributed anything. She wants to keep the house and has made false allegations to the police and had an injunction against me stopping me being at my property. My question is can I force a sale as I no longer want to be there or married to her. She has always told me she would stay in the house while I pay for it until my son is 18. As I cannot move on. Rebuy a property and only have equity in my property what can I do ?
Whatamigoingtodo - 23-Nov-16 @ 1:12 PM
My wife walked out 8 weeks ago and took the kids to her mothers. She has decided that she wants a divorce and to go our seperate ways. I work 4 on 4 off so we have been sharing care of the children 2 and 12 almost equally. Her mums is a big house, she has a room and so do the kids. She says i can buy her out or sell up because she wants her share. I have no chance of borrowing enough to buy her out. I know with us both being on the mortgage she cant force me to sell either. She earns about £700 a month and I have been giving her as much for years. if i sell, which i dont want to because it is the kids home, then i walk away with a deposit. If i dont can she get a court to give her the house and I be left with nothing until they are 18? she cant afford or get a mortgage for it, could i be forced to cover that too?
me - 5-Nov-16 @ 12:22 AM
Maik - Your Question:
My ex wife want sell my house the mortgage is only my name and we divorce in 2010 she make court order to sell house but I live with wife and a child 7 year old and my disabled mother over 75 year old Can she make sell it by court she never make eny payments and she been married now 4 years now plz let me know

Our Response:
It is unlikely the court will make you sell the house if you are the resident parent of yours and your ex's child. However, much depends upon how long you had been married, whether you owned the house prior to marriage, whether you have any children with her who live with her and do not live with you. You may wish to seek legal advice in order to clarify your position.
RelationshipExpert - 4-Nov-16 @ 12:57 PM
My ex wife want sell my house the mortgage is only my name and we divorce in 2010 she make court order to sell house but I live with wife and a child 7 year old and my disabled mother over 75 year old Can she make sell it by court she never make eny payments and she been married now 4 years now plz let me know
Maik - 3-Nov-16 @ 4:06 PM
supergirl - Your Question:
My husband of 26 years recently walked out after confessing to having a 3 month affair to live with his new partner. Currently I am still living in the marital home with our adult son, presently he is still contibuting to some of the household bills. My concern is as we don't have dependents, can he make me sell the house when he chooses. At present I would not be able to buy him out to cover his share of the equity in the house and pay the remainder of the morgage. I do know at present they are renting.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You would have to seek legal advice regarding this, but effectively, yes he could request that you sell the house in order to release his equity.
RelationshipExpert - 27-Sep-16 @ 3:06 PM
My husband of 26 years recently walked out after confessing to having a 3 month affair to live with his new partner. Currently I am still living in the marital home with our adult son, presently he is still contibuting to some of the household bills. My concern is as we don't have dependents, can he make me sell the house when he chooses.At present I would not be able to buy him out to cover his share of the equity in the house and pay the remainder of the morgage. I do know at present they are renting.
supergirl - 27-Sep-16 @ 12:21 PM
Me and my husband are going though a bad time at the moment we are both on the mortgage but it was my home and mortgage before we married I would like to know where I stand in this if we separate do I still have to pay him 50/50 we both pay the mortgage together but all other bills we pay seperate ie I pay water,shopping,our sons clothes etc , outstanding clubs, plus I had to give my job up on medicial grounds and now claim pip I'm classed as disabled ...my husband don't give me money anymore like he used to to help with food etc he binge drinks and claims I've buried my head in the sand and have made him mental too.
Nikki - 27-Aug-16 @ 10:17 PM
Fatstarsky - Your Question:
My wife and I own our own home, I pay the mortgage and most of the utilities. We do not have children. I want to separate, sell the house and split the equity 50 / 50. She doesn't want to sell but wants me just to walk away. She can't afford the mortgage but states she will get a lodger. I've paid far more in, and will except a 50/50 split. Can I force the sale of the house?

Our Response:
If you have no children, then you should seek legal advice if your wife is being awkward about not selling. Your ex would have to have to be able to buy you out if she wants to keep the house when you want to sell. Otherwise, a court can issue an order for you both to sell if you wish to release any equity and relieve yourself from the responsibility of the mortgage.
RelationshipExpert - 29-Jul-16 @ 2:29 PM
My wife and I own our own home, I pay the mortgage and most of the utilities.We do not have children. I want to separate, sell the house and split the equity 50 / 50.She doesn't want to sell but wants me just to walk away. She can't afford the mortgage but states she will get a lodger.I've paid far more in, and will except a 50/50 split. Can I force the sale of the house?
Fatstarsky - 28-Jul-16 @ 9:10 PM
Me and my partner hav recently split up and I'm living back at home. I wna sell the house but he's doesn't but I'm not Gna pay the mortgage when I'm not living there especially when he kicked me out! So do I need to take him to court?
Jarvis - 28-May-16 @ 2:12 PM
Gaz - Your Question:
Myself and ex partner had bought a place 8 years ago and after 2 years we split up. The property at the time was in negative equity. We paid half and half for the mortgage at the time but she has not paid since she has moved out. How much can she claim for

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this as much would have to do about what your ex paid into the property (such as deposits etc)in the first place.
RelationshipExpert - 25-May-16 @ 12:30 PM
Myself and ex partner had bought a place 8 years ago and after 2 years we split up. The property at the time was in negative equity. We paid half and half for the mortgage at the time but she has not paid since she has moved out. How much can she claim for
Gaz - 24-May-16 @ 7:09 PM
Bouty - Your Question:
I own my house solely and was thrown out by my wife in December, I have always paid all of the bills and mortgage without her help. I want to sell the property so I can get myself somewhere else and I understand she will be entitled to at least half as my 15 and 17 year old children live with her. Can she stop me from selling the house?

Our Response:
She can stop you from selling the house if your children live with your ex, as it is unlikely a court would force the sale until your youngest finishes education. Regardless of you paying all the bills in the past, the house is still considered a joint property due to you being married.
RelationshipExpert - 17-May-16 @ 11:24 AM
I own my house solely and was thrown out by my wife in December, I have always paid all of the bills and mortgage without her help. I want to sell the property so I can get myself somewhere else and I understand she will be entitled to at least half as my 15 and 17 year old children live with her. Can she stop me from selling the house?
Bouty - 16-May-16 @ 1:41 PM
My husband and I separated in 2009.We typed up an agreement which was signed by both of us and someone as a witness saying he would make no claim on the house or contents and that he would receive a sum of ten thousand pounds payable in instalments until I could pay the balance.Also agreed that the mortgage would be transferred into my name subject to the mortgage company approval.My sister is arranging to increase her mortgage to pay mine off but the house will go into her name (not a problem for me)He has had five thousand pounds and is now saying that he won't accept the balance left but wants another ten thousand as he wants to buy a house otherwise he will sell the house.This will make me homeless as I'm now a carer and on low pay and can't afford rent as it is more than I'm paying for my mortgage.He has contributed nothing since we split. Can he do this?
Top Cat - 6-May-16 @ 7:18 PM
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