What are my options with a house my ex and I purchased when we were married?

Bought in 2009. I lived there for
just a year and a half. Divorced and
the ex has been living there till
this day. He will not refinance or
do anything to get my name off. Can
I make him buy out my half?

Asked on March 3, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You can't make him buy the house, but you can force its sale: there is a legal action called an action "for partition" in which one of the co-owners of a home, when she and her co-owner cannot agree as to what to do with it, can seek a court order requiring that the home be sold and the proceeds, after paying costs of sale and paying off any mortgages and liens, be split among the owners. So if he won't voluntarily buy you out, you can force that the home be sold.
That's one option. You may also be able to bring a legal action to enforce what your divorce papers (which are as enforceable as any contract or court order) say, if that would be helpful. (How helpful it may be depends on exactly what those papers say, since they will be enforced according to their plain meaning.) A good idea would be to bring a copy of your divorce papers to attorney to review you options: to see if enforcing those papers or an action or partition would be better for you. Good luck.

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