How can I force the sale of a jointly owned home?

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How can I force the sale of a jointly owned home?

I left my fiance of 18 years, almost a year ago due to infidelity on his end. We own a home together. We had agreed that he would buy me out, but to-date he has done nothing to make this happen. I need the money from the sale to start over again, and he knows this is crippling me financially so he is happy to let this drag out as long as possible. What can I do to force the sale? He won’t let anyone come over to put a fair market value on the house, so I don’t even know how much I should be asking for.

Like I said, I am just barely making it financially, so I don’t have the money for a lawyer. What can I do?

Asked on March 6, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Maine

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can file an action for "partition". This is a legal remedy that is employed when owners of jointly held property cannot agree as to ownership matters. In such an action, if the property can be equally divided it will be. If it cannot be so divided, then the court will order a sale with the proceeds to be equtably distributed. First, however, any owner who wants to keep the property will have the chance to buy out the other owner(s) for fair market value.


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