How do I legally sell my residence if Im not on title?

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How do I legally sell my residence if Im not on title?

Background- I want to sell my home, but my spouse
is the only one on title. We bought the home together
in 2006. He left years ago and is residing in another
country and hasnt been heard of since. Ive been
maintaining the home by myself. He does not want to
be found so I have no way of getting in contact with
him. What are my options? Note- the home is
currently in preforeclosure

Asked on December 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It's not your residence to sell if you are not on the title: only those on the title are owners. You have certain rights to it and any equity from it through marriage, which you could get in family court--that is, in a divorce--and in a divorce, you could possibly get a court order requiring its sale; but without such a court order, you have no right to sell it. You are, as stated, not an owner if not on the title; your only rights in or to come from your marriage and therefore must be adjudicated in family court, in the context of a divorce.
If your spouse has left for another country and is not in contact with you, you probably should be strongly considering divorce anyway: that will separate you legally from a person you are physically and apparently emotionally already separate from, so that you will not be responsible for any actions of his or debts he incurs, and so you can get your share of marital or family assets.
If you don't want to divorce, if you are not on the mortgage, you should be able to just "walk away" from the home: if you are not on the mortgage, you would not be responsible for it.


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