If I bought a home with ex-wife and both names are on everything, after 5 months

of moving out, can she now force me to sell or refinance?

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If I bought a home with ex-wife and both names are on everything, after 5 months

of moving out, can she now force me to sell or refinance?

We were married for 14 months; she left me and the kids.

Asked on July 29, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she can. The law does not force people to remain invested in real estate that they don't want to own and where they and the other owner(s) cannot agree as to what to do with it. Any owner of real estate can, if she and the other owner(s) cannot agree on the disposition of the real estate, bring a type of legal action traditionally called an action "for partition" (though your state might have a different name for it). In this legal action, she asks the court to issue an order requiring the sale of the property; once it is sold, the costs of sale and any mortgage, HELOC, liens, etc. are paid, then the proceeds are distributed or split among the owners. So she cannot force you to refinance, but she can force a sale; you might choose to refinance as an alternative, if you want to keep the house. That she left you and the children is irrelevant: she has rights as a property owner.


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