Can the co owner force you to sell?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can the co owner force you to sell?

My ex and I purchased a home together. We
have split and he moved out 8 months ago. He
hasn’t paid for anything to do with the house
mortgage, utilities, taxes, only I have. I want
to refinance in my name solely but he is
making the process difficult and is saying he is
refusing. I am financially able to refinance.

Could the judge order me to sell?

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

When joint owners of property (real or personal) cannot agree as to ownership matters, one of the owners can file what is called a "partition" action. This is a legal tool designed to resolve disputes in these matters. In such an action, the court will order the division of the property, if practical. However, if it not practical to do so (as in the case of a single family house), then the court will order a "sale in lieu of partition". Accordingly, the property will be placed for sale at fair market value. Once sold, the proceeds will distributed equitably to each co-owner. That having been said, before the property is offered to 3rd parties, any owner who wishes to retain it can offer to buy out the other owner(s) (again for fair market value).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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