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Can Husband Force Me to Sell Our Home?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 16 Dec 2018 | 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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Hi my partner and I have split up after 20 years. We have 3 children 14, 12 and 4. We have a mortgage together but she refuses to sell. She says she doesn't have to as she has the kids more than me but i cant afford my own place ie rent and child maintenance its too much. I could afford a mortgage and maintenance but rent is just no option as i need the equity from the house. My argument is that I also need a place with the children when i have them but she doesn't care about that bit. In a nutshell can i make her sell.
Deano - 16-Dec-18 @ 2:34 PM
Hi. Me and my wife separated nearly four years ago. I moved out of our jointly owned home and we continued to pay half of the mortgage each. I also pay the standard rate of child maintenance for our daughter and she has one 13 year old and one 19 year old(with a full time job) living with her. I have rented since our split but now want to buy a property with my new partner but obviously cannot get a mortgage as I already have one with the ex and the mortgage companies won't let me have another. What are the chances of me being successful in forcing the sale of the house with children still living there? I have asked her to look into taking over the mortgage which to be fair she has but was refused as she doesn't earn enough. Any advice would be really appreciated.
Ian - 22-Oct-18 @ 3:06 PM
Hi, My wife made false allegations of DV and had a non mol put in place. Police dropped case but I no longer am allowed in the property as I took an undertaking. We have been married 12 years and have 2 children 6 and 7. I want to now divorce and want to force the sale of the house. We have 450k equity in the home, which is enough for both of us to split 60/40 in her favour and get our own places to live. My ex gave up work 4 years ago do to work grievance and never returned back but she can work and earn. Can I force a sale as there is enough equity?
Strongbolt - 1-Oct-18 @ 6:29 AM
Hi, I'm a pensioner and my husband is a few years older than me. The problem is my husband would like to sell the house and move overseas. I have a small pension which he has kept from me and has not returned and I would like to know what my options are. Can he really sell the house when the deeds are in both our names? Our son also lives with us. He is a middle-aged managing his bi-polar condition via the GP and works in a local hospital.He regularly contributes 1/3 of all the bills in the house but I am concerned that with my husband deciding to sell, he has been threatening this for a long time, it might trigger his mental health problems again. My son can look after himself but with his Banding in the hospital he cannot afford to move out as it is. The job is really good for him and I don't want all these things to complicate his progress. What do you suggest?
Eugene - 27-Sep-18 @ 4:10 PM
I left my husband around 8yeasrs ago. We have 3 kids together. We have a house in both off our names. Which I keep for my kids. My husband had the house rent private to his girlfriend kids. Just wondering if I can still get my share of the house if we sell it
Shell - 25-Sep-18 @ 9:34 AM
Hi I left my wife after 19 years we have 4 children together youngest is 10 she sold my car when we split up £6 k now she is sitting in my house with £80 k equity and refusing to sell until my son is 18 I give her £600 pm csa she as never contributed to any bills in whole time we was together which is part reason why I left her now she refuses to get full time job as she says she gets more this way she goes out every weekend until 4 am leaving children on their own ,is their anyway I can force this horrible human being to give me half of my £80 k? I have £6 k of loans and my new partner is expecting any advise please?
Shafted - 11-Sep-18 @ 2:33 PM
MHC - Your Question:
My husband has left me after 38 years of marriage. He is still working (his own building business) and also plays in a band several times a month earning him additional income. I have no income other than the Government Pension. He has paid no support at all since he left and he shut down all utilities etc which I have had to now have put in my name and pay myself. We have always paid 50/50 through our marriage until I retired in 2015 - but still I had to contribute as much as I could from my pension. That is my only income. He now wants to sell the property - can he force me? I have no means of purchasing another (my half of the property will be insufficient, but too much to be able to obtain any financial help or a council property. Many thanks

Our Response:
You can refuse to sell. Where no agreement can be reached between you, only a court can then decide (if your ex wishes to take the matter to court). The fact you have been married for 38 years also means you have a claim to the business and any savings etc you both have. I suggest you seek legal advice.
RelationshipExpert - 17-Aug-18 @ 12:02 PM
my husband has left me after 38 years of marriage.He is still working (his own building business) and also plays in a band several times a month earning him additional income.I have no income other than the Government Pension.He has paid no support at all since he left and he shut down all utilities etc which I have had to now have put in my name and pay myself.We have always paid 50/50 through our marriage until I retired in 2015 - but still I had to contribute as much as I could from my pension.That is my only income.He now wants to sell the property - can he force me?I have no means of purchasing another (my half of the property will be insufficient, but too much to be able to obtain any financial help or a council property.Many thanks
MHC - 17-Aug-18 @ 9:00 AM
Kat - Your Question:
Hello, my husband wants to break up and sell our house, we have a 6 year old boy, my husband still lives in the house and will not move out, he is adiment I sell or I have to pay him the equity of the house, where do I stand? I don’t want to sell, as the house is a great location and our home. I’ve applied for a part time job with the hours of 34.5 a week which I’m hopefully going to get. I currently already work 30 hours a week, I’ve worked out I will just be able to afford all the bills on the money I earn now. Plus I’ve been offered a lot of support off family.

Our Response:
To clarify the information in the article, if you are married, both spouses have an equal right to remain in the house. If you can’t agree how to split it on separation, then you will need to either suggest mediation as a way of coming to an agreement or refer the matter to court if you still cannot agree. If you have a child, the court will always put the child's interests first. Where finances allow, a court can allow the primary carer of the child to remain in the house with the child until the child leaves full-time education. Please also see the link here which offers further information.
RelationshipExpert - 14-Aug-18 @ 9:55 AM
Hello, my husband wants to break up and sell our house, we have a 6 year old boy, my husband still lives in the house and will not move out, he is adiment I sell or I have to pay him the equity of the house, where do I stand? I don’t want to sell,as the house is a great location and our home. I’ve applied for a part time job with the hours of 34.5 a week which I’m hopefully going to get . I currently already work 30 hours a week, I’ve worked out I will just be able to afford all the bills on the money I earn now. Plus I’ve been offered a lot of support off family.
Kat - 13-Aug-18 @ 4:22 AM
@missy - Unless your ex-husband can buy you out so that you can pay off/reduce the mortgage, then he would not be able to transfer the house. Someone has to pay the lender.
Jo - 13-Jul-18 @ 11:02 AM
Hi, Me and my husband divorced in the early 90s, we had 3 children all under 4ys old when he had an affair and moved out to live with his new partner, the courts decided to award him 30% of the house because of the child support agency! He never paid a penny child support or had the children overnight! I paid all the bills including the mortgage for 25 years, i never asked him for anything and i didnt even go after a percentage of his pension, which i was entitled to, but 3 years ago my youngest child left home and he asked if he could come back to help me kerp the house for the children, he was living on his own in a flat at this time, so i agreed as i was only working part time and couldnt afford to pay all the bills, aldo i couldnt sell the house as there was a charge on the property for my legal bills that i couldnt afford to pay off...so i was in a catch 22 position. He said that he was going to transfer his share over to mebut says he cant until the mortgage has been paid off, is this right or can it be signed over before that happens?
Missy. - 12-Jul-18 @ 10:55 AM
Ginger - Your Question:
My Husband left the marital home 6 mths ago after I discoverd he was having an affair.He left on his own accord he was not forced to go. He now has not contributed to the mortgage for the last two months. I have filed for divorce and financial settlement to enable me to eventually buy him out of the property.Whilst the mortgage is still in joint names but he doesn't contribute to anything my question is what are my rights to take a lodger to help with the bills and mortgage.

Our Response:
Discussing this with your husband directly might be the way forward here, especially if your ex is refusing to pay. However, if you do not wish to take this approach, then it is up to you whether you take in a lodger (you don't need his consent). But you may need the consent of your mortgage lender and to change your home insurance policy. You can see more via the link here .
RelationshipExpert - 4-Jun-18 @ 10:29 AM
My Husband left the marital home 6 mths ago after i discoverd he was having an affair. He left on his own accord he was not forced to go. He now has not contributed to the mortgage for the last two months. I have filed for divorce and financial settlement to enable me to eventually buy him out of the property. Whilst the mortgage is still in joint names but he doesn't contribute to anything my question is what are my rights to take a lodger to help with the bills and mortgage.
Ginger - 3-Jun-18 @ 10:30 AM
Me and my ex split up 13 yrs ago after she cheated on me. We have 3 children, youngest is now 14. We have a joint mortgage. I moved out of the property and she moved her new fella in, since then they had a child together and split up. She hasn't worked since we split claiming benefits. I believe I've done the right thing in letting her stay in the home until my youngest is 18. But I think she's going to make things really awkward when youngest is 18 because I would like my share of the property to fund another home.
Jon - 27-May-18 @ 8:55 AM
@Flower - You can refuse to sell the house. If you refuse, then your husband would have to try to resolve the situation by applying to court. It is unlikely the courts will force the sale.
Gem - 14-May-18 @ 2:06 PM
My husband wants to move to Spain,l don't.he wants to sell the home to get the money to go..l will have to go into rented cos he doesn'twant to buy again.away over the winter to start with then permanent.l don't want any of this but feel like 'll being manipulatedto follow what he wants.we have 3 dogs and a 18year old at home also.l had a stroke in 2016 and d all the stress of this is frighteningme and wearing me out.where do l stand?what do l do?
Flower - 11-May-18 @ 6:44 PM
Sanah - Your Question:
Hi my has left me with 5 kids and one of my child is disabled my husband is forcing me to sell the house so he can have his share and move on ,we have no mortgage and the house is on joint names. I wanted to ask can he force me to sell.my youngest is 4years old and I have a disabled child who is 13 years old ?

Our Response:
It is unlikely a court would force you to sell the house. Usually, a court would rule that the primary carer can stay in the family home with the children until the youngest leaves full-time education. In your situation with five children, a court is unlikely to force you to move. You can see more via the CAB link here.
RelationshipExpert - 13-Apr-18 @ 2:46 PM
Hi my has left me with 5 kids and one of my child is disabled my husband is forcing me to sell the house so he can have his share and move on ,we have no mortgage and the house is on joint names. I wanted to ask can he force me to sell. my youngest is 4years old and I have a disabled child who is 13 years old ?
Sanah - 12-Apr-18 @ 11:36 PM
N/A - Your Question:
My husband left me in April 2016 so he could be with another woman. We had been married for almost 27 yrs. I have never worked and I have health problems including Depression, Anxiety and a rare type of Cancer. I share my home with our daughter, who will turn 28yrs old this month, and our son, who will be 24yrs old in September. The home myself and my husband decided to buy from the Council. We still have a joint mortgage which my daughter has recently started to pay because my husband has stopped the payments. My solicitor has informed my husbands solicitor of my health issues and stated that I have a letter from my GP stating it is in my best interest to remain in my home. This is not being accepted by my husbands solicitor because he has told them that I have posted all over Facebook that I have been given the all clear from the Cancer specialist. This is not true. At the beginning of the year I received a letter stating that my husband is willing to sign the house over to me for a £10,000 pound settlement fee. My solicitor informed them that I don't have that kind of money and so they have taken steps for financial relief proceedings to be issued. Can I be forced to sell my home just so he can have some money for walking out on me for another woman

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear of your illnesses. However, a court will not go out to punish your husband financially for leaving your marriage (if he chooses to take the matter to court). If your husband owns half the house and has been paying the mortgage then he is entitled to a financial claim on the house. However, court is always seen as a last resort and if you can try to resolve the issues outside of court then it will be a lot less costly for both of you in legal/court fees etc. As your ex has money locked in the property that he is entitled to claim. Much depends upon whether he makes steps to apply to court to try to claim it and it will be dependent upon what the court decides (which we cannot possibly predict).
RelationshipExpert - 12-Apr-18 @ 11:55 AM
My husband left me in April 2016 so he could be with another woman. We had been married for almost 27 yrs. I have never worked and I have health problems including Depression, Anxiety and a rare type of Cancer. I share my home with our daughter, who will turn 28yrs old this month, and our son, who will be 24yrs old in September. The home myself and my husband decided to buy from the Council. We still have a joint mortgage which my daughter has recently started to pay because my husband has stopped the payments. My solicitor has informed my husbands solicitor of my health issues and stated that I have a letter from my GP stating it is in my best interest to remain in my home. This is not being accepted by my husbands solicitor because he has told them that I have posted all over Facebook that I have been given the all clear from the Cancer specialist. This is not true. At the beginning of the year I received a letter stating that my husband is willing to sign the house over to me for a £10,000 pound settlement fee. My solicitor informed them that I don't have that kind of money and so they have taken steps for financial relief proceedings to be issued. Can I be forced to sell my home just so he can have some money for walking out on me for another woman
N/A - 11-Apr-18 @ 7:03 PM
Tanni - Your Question:
My ex wants me to sell the house and won’t wait for my 11 year old to finish her education. I have three children and still have to complete my education to become a fully qualified teacher. He is working and has been living in a four bedroom house with his parents for seven years and second wife via an Islamic marriage. He has stated he will tell the court he wants to buy another property and move out with his wife and needs the equity from the matrimonial home we both own. He actually has no intention of moving out of his parents as culturally he is of the belief he must live with them always. I have asked him to wait and sell house when youngest is 18 but he refuses to agree.

Our Response:
If you disagree with what your ex husband is requesting, then his only option would be to apply to court to try to force the sale. As a rule, the court where possible will attempt to prevent disruption while your children are in full-time education. However, you may wish to seek legal advice in order to explore your options, as much depends upon other contributing circumstances also.
RelationshipExpert - 16-Jan-18 @ 3:11 PM
My ex wants me to sell the house and won’t wait for my 11 year old to finish her education. I have three children and still have to complete my education to become a fully qualified teacher. He is working and has been living in a four bedroom house with his parents for seven years and second wife via an Islamic marriage. He has stated he will tell the court he wants to buy another property and move out with his wife and needs the equity from the matrimonial home we both own.He actually has no intention of moving out of his parents as culturally he is of the belief he must live with them always.I have asked him to wait and sell house when youngest is 18 but he refuses to agree.
Tanni - 15-Jan-18 @ 11:02 PM
Hi, I split from my partner of 8 years 4 months after buying our first property. She paid the deposit of £70000 and I took outmortgage £120000 and added her on to it. A deed of trust is in place which states when the property is sold it should be split 69% to her 31% to me. It also indemnifys us if one doesn't pay there share of the mortgage the other will cover it. Due to the split my ex lives In the property with my daughter and soon to be born baby of her new partner pays £530pcm mortgage. I rent a room at £500pcm elsewhere. As I am unable to live in our property I don't contribute to the mortgage and my ex has now stopped me seeing my daughter as I will not sign the house over to her for free. My point is by us splitting doesn't mean I give up my investment in the property however she's told me she will take me to court to have me forced to sign the deed over. Is this possible? I was under the impression her only option would be to buy me out? Thank you in advance for your help.
Simples - 21-Oct-17 @ 11:09 AM
My husband left due to me being pregnant with our 1st child.I got a loan of 23000 for the deposit of our home is he entitled to this.I have debt of 30,000 from holidays and our wedding it's in my name and was affordable until he left now I am blacklisted.I can buy him out minus the deposit but can't take his name off the mortgage so he wants to force me to sell so he can buy with his girlfriend.I'm paying the mortgage not him our baby is 7 months old now can he force me to sell?.His girlfriend is paying his solicitor I can't afford one as most my money goes to the mortgage so any advice is welcome
Tammy - 13-Aug-17 @ 9:32 PM
newliverbird - Your Question:
Hi I am so worried about my daughter, her and her husband split up last year and he moved out no one was really to blame. They have 2 children between them 7 and 9 my 7yr grandson is autistic. The day he left he stopped contributing to the mortgage and bills he does give my daughter £350 maintenance which is going to be less soon as he has cut his hours at work. He is now trying to force her to sell the house as he wants his half and has threatened to come off of mortgage, and has said he has been to the bank and said she wouldn't get a mortgage. This will leave my daughter and children homeless and having to live in rented accommodation. He also says he is going to enter the property with a few estate agents to value the house, my daughter had the house valued when he left as this is what her solicitior advised he said he wants an up to date one. Can he really force my daughter to sell.Please help me as this is really causing my daughter health issues she works 35 hours a week. He has a girlfriend which he moved in with 3 months after they split up and she is on benefits but now he is there he is paying for her bills.

Our Response:
It may be advisable for your daughter to seek legal advice regarding this. Often a court will allow the primary carer of the children to remain in the house. But it would be down to a court to determine what it thinks is in the best interests of the children, please see link here .
RelationshipExpert - 1-Aug-17 @ 2:50 PM
Hi I am so worried about my daughter, her and her husband split up last year and he moved out no one was really to blame. They have 2 children between them 7 and 9 my 7yr grandson is autistic. The day he left he stopped contributing to the mortgage and bills he does give my daughter £350 maintenance which is going to be less soon as he has cut his hours at work. He is now trying to force her to sell the house as he wants his half and has threatened to come off of mortgage, and has said he has been to the bank and said she wouldn't get a mortgage. This will leave my daughter and children homeless and having to live in rented accommodation. He also says he is going to enter the property with a few estate agents to value the house, my daughter had the house valued when he left as this is what her solicitior advised he said he wants an up to date one. Can he really force my daughter to sell .Please help me as this is really causing my daughter health issues she works 35 hours a week.. He has a girlfriend which he moved in with 3 months after they split up and she is on benefits but now he is there he is paying for her bills.
newliverbird - 1-Aug-17 @ 8:56 AM
shamma - Your Question:
Hi,I own a home with my x wife,we divorced 7years ago but she still lives at the property with my 14 year old daughter,since I was forced out of the property due to her infidelity,she was having an affair she has been engaged 3 times,they all have cohabited their ,I have proof as all on electoral roll,and now I found out she is getting married in two months,I said she could keep a roof over daughters head,mortgage is now interest only,since the day I left,repayment in the 6years I was their,I paid off over 40 grand,she hasn't paid a penny,just interest £300, a month for a 4 bed semi for last 8 years,but has had at least 3 holidays a year abroad,with her 3 fiancees,I have written through solicitors over last 3years explaining we didn't agree to let other men live in property,she ignored,I have had enough now she is getting married,I want half equity of the property around £50 grand,if she can't afford can I force the sale to get my equity??Look forward to your response,Thankyou

Our Response:
You would have to take the matter to court if you cannot agree between you. I suggest you take legal advice first, as a court may allow your ex wife to stay in the house until your daughter leaves full-time education. The court will always put your child and what it thinks is in her best interests first in such a case. However, a judge can stop your ex from moving another person in, if the reasons you have against her doing this are justifiable and especially if you have a solicitor's agreement between you to back this up.
RelationshipExpert - 14-Jul-17 @ 12:19 PM
Hi,I own a home with my x wife,we divorced 7years ago but she still lives at the property with my 14 year old daughter,since I was forced out of the property due to her infidelity,she was having an affair she has been engaged 3 times,they all have cohabited their ,I have proof as all on electoral roll,and now I found out she is getting married in two months,I said she could keep a roof over daughters head,mortgage is now interest only,since the day I left,repayment in the 6years I was their,I paid off over 40 grand,she hasn't paid a penny,just interest £300, a month for a 4 bed semi for last 8 years,but has had at least 3 holidays a year abroad,with her 3 fiancees,I have written through solicitors over last 3years explaining we didn't agree to let other men live in property,she ignored,I have had enough now she is getting married,I want half equity of the property around £50 grand,if she can't afford can I force the sale to get my equity?? Look forward to your response, Thankyou
shamma - 13-Jul-17 @ 7:38 PM
my husband and I have our property in separate names. We have an equity release loan on the property. If he gets into debt can I be made to sell my share of the house tohelp clear his debts Thank you
Di - 3-Jul-17 @ 9:06 AM
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