If my husband wants a divorce, canI have him buy me out of our house if he refuses to sell it?

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If my husband wants a divorce, canI have him buy me out of our house if he refuses to sell it?

We purchased our home 9 years ago during that time we both worked and paid on the home along with a new addition. He has decided he wants a divorce and I told him that I would move out as long as he bought me out of the home. How would we figure the amount of the buyout, and can I legally ask for a buyout (my name is on the deed).

Asked on August 8, 2011 Indiana

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question.  Property distribution for divorce proceedings varies from state to state.  Your state is considered an “equitable distribution” state.  This does not mean that the property will be split 50/50, but rather will be distributed by what the court deems “just and reasonable.”  The court will consider each spouse’s contribution to acquiring the property being distributed.  For instance, if one spouse made all the mortgage payments and the down payment for the property, then that spouse would be deemed to have more equity in the home.  Additionally the court will look to see when your marital property was acquired (such as before marriage), and whether one spouse will have custody of all of the children and will need a home to live in. 

 

You cannot actually force him to buy you out of the house.  However, you are entitled to separate the distribution of property amongst yourselves without getting the court involved.  If you wanted to figure out a buy out figure, you could have a few realtors come to the house for an appraisal and give an estimate of how much they believe the home would sell for, then take the average of those estimates, and divide in half.  That is, if your spouse believes you’re entitled to 50% of the home.  As previously stated, your state does not divide property 50/50.  However, since you both have a lot financially to gain and lose, it might be helpful to sit down with a family law attorney to discuss these matters.


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