If my partner and I are separating but we have a house under both of our names and I want to sell it yet he refuses to, what can I do?

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If my partner and I are separating but we have a house under both of our names and I want to sell it yet he refuses to, what can I do?

He doesn’t have a job to pay the mortgage and I have a job but can’t afford the mortgage on my own. Is there a way to remove a name (whether it be mine or his) from the house title or is there a way to sell the house without the other owner’s consent?

Asked on November 3, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you can't reach an agreement about whether or not to sell the house, then you can have a judge settle things. "Partition" is a legal remedy that refers to a judicial division of property among joint owners.
If the property can be physically divided, the court will so instruct. However, since we are dealing with a single family house, splitting it would be impractical. In such case, the court will order the sale of the property at fair market value and an equitable division of the proceeds among the co-owners. Although, it will first allow the property to be offered to any owner who wants to keep it. If that owner cannot afford to buy, then it will be put on the market.
You should be aware, however, that a forced sale can be expensive and time-consuming. Perhaps you can explain all of this to your partner and they will change their mind about selling. If not, you should consult directly with a real estate attorney in your area who can more fully explain your rights and remdies under specific state law.


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