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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


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

Answered 5 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.

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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