Helping a friend

I have a friend who wishes to sell her house, but the house is signed under her name as well as her former husband. She has tried many times to sell the house but he refuses to sign to sell his half of the house or to let her buy him out. Any suggestions I could give her?

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Suggest that she go to see a lawyer.  One place she can find the attorney she needs is our website,

I'm not a Virginia attorney, and I don't have all the facts, so I can't give specific advice.  But I'm reasonably sure that Virginia, like most other states, still has the centuries-old court-made laws of real estate, called equitable remedies.  One of these is called partition, and it is a lawsuit that asks the court to divide up the property, held by tenants in common or joint tenants, giving each part owner their just share.  And if there's property that can't be physically divided, like a single family house, it gets sold, and the court divides the money.

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