If joint owners of real estate cannot agree on whether or not to sell the property, what can be done?

I am separated from my ex we were never married. We have 2 kids and share a mortgage. I cannot afford to move out and pay the mortgage. She pays none of the mortgage but refuses to list the house for sale. We are both on the mortgage, what are my options.

Asked on October 8, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

aIn a situation such as yours, the law provides a legal remedy known as "partition". Vie partition, a property is physically divided, if practical. If not, a partion sale will be ordered. This means that with regard to a single family house, it will be ordered by the court that the house be put on the market for fair market value. The sale proceeds will be equitably divided between the co-owners. However, before the property is offered to a third parties for purchase, it will be offered to any of the joint owners who will have the right to purchase first.
Note Parition, etc. can be costly and time-consuming. Perhaps just having an attoreny write your ex a letter and explain that the house can be sold over her objection anyway might get her to change her mind. After all, she would be responsible for her share of the legal expenses regarding the partition sale.

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