Can My Ex Force Me to Sell the House?

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Can My Ex Force Me to Sell the House?
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Divorces are stressful and upsetting. How your children will be impacted and where you are going to live can be two of the biggest anxieties facing many people going through the process. However, legal bodies will always put children first and you can be entitled to stay in the family home.

We Buy Any Home has put together this detailed guide to help you understand what your choices are when it comes to selling the family home during a divorce. This guide aims to help you get a picture of where you could stand legally, but we advise to always seek professional legal help if you haven’t done so already.

Can ex-partner force house sale?

If you and your ex both own your home and share children together who are under 18, most courts will grant the parent with full-time custody of the children permission to reside in the family home.

They will assess the finances of the individual to ensure this is possible and the Property Order will often be in place until your offspring are 18 or out of full-time education. After this time, the house may be sold, and the money divided between the two parties according to the Property order.

Most parents will always want what is best for their children and, often, this means remaining in the family home. Legal bodies will typically aim for children to remain at home with one of the parents. Therefore, in this instance, an ex-partner would not be able to make you sell the family home.

Can I be forced to sell a jointly owned house?

Legalities around property don’t just extend to married couples who are separating or divorcing. If you are cohabiting in a jointly owned home, you still hold the same rights as somebody who is married.

Your partner cannot force you to sell the home – you must first voluntarily agree to a sale. However, they can apply to the court for an order for sale of the property. The court will consider a number of factors regarding your circumstances, such as whether the property is a family home to dependent children.

If there is sufficient equity in your home to enable both you and your ex to rehouse themselves (and any children) comfortably it is unlikely the court will grant an immediate sale, even if your ex-partner puts in the plea. Often, the court will defer the sale for a period to allow parties to become more financially stable or until all children have reached 18 years old. However, every case will be dealt with based on the unique facts of your case.

Jointly owned home no children

Children are not the only deciding factor of what happens to a property during a divorce. If you don’t have any children but the home is in both of your names, your ex still cannot force you to sell.

In this case, with both your names on the deeds, you are both entitled to a share in the home. Neither can force the other party to sell against their will, without a court order. With no children to consider, the courts will assess whether one party may be able to buy out the other’s share in the property, if one party has the finances to remain in the property on their own, or whether it is best to sell and split the money.  

My ex won’t sign to sell house

Even if, you own a property in your name alone, with just your name on the deeds, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can go ahead with selling the property during a separation. If you are married, nothing can be decided in this nature until the divorce is finalised. Understandably, the property will be discussed during the negotiations and a decision will be made regarding whether it is sold or not.

If you and your partner are not married and there are no children involved the decision about property can be slightly clearer cut, particularly if it is in your name. You may be able to sell your home without repercussions, particularly if you have not been together for a significant amount of time or share any other assets. However, you should seek legal advice before doing so. The situation may differ if you are not married but you share children or if you have been together for a long period.

My divorce hasn’t been finalised

In most cases, both parties have the right to live in the home until a divorce is finalised, according to the law. However, understandably this can be uncomfortable, and a decision will need to be made to make the situation as bearable as possible. Seeking legal advice is a must for anybody going through a divorce as a solicitor will be able to help with all conclusions.

If you feel your ex-partner is forcing a house sale against your will, you should obtain legal help and seek a Notice of Home Right against the property. This applies to married couples and will stop your partner selling the house whilst you are still legally married, even if the property is in their name.

What circumstances can you force a house sale UK?

Having a property with two legal owners, such as you and your ex, can prove difficult when one of you wants to sell. As we have mentioned, an order for sale will need to be applied for and the courts will decide on the best course of action. Outcomes from the courts can be one of the following:

  • Refusal of sale
  • Refusal of sale but an order is placed regulating the right to occupancy
  • Sale is granted
  • Sale is granted but suspended for a short period
  • Partition the co-owned property (in exceptional circumstances)

How much does it cost to force the sale of a house UK?

Depending on the legalities, nobody can be forced to sell or leave their home. Trying to force a sale through, whether it’s the right or wrong thing to do, can cost between £2,000 and £5,000. However, this fee can increase if there are children involved or if proceedings take longer than expected.

Can I be forced to sell my house

As one of the leading cash house buyers in the UK, We Buy Any Home has put together this detailed guide to help you understand what your choices are when it comes to selling the family home during a divorce. This guide aims to help you get a picture of where you could stand legally, but we advise to always seek professional legal help if you haven’t done so already. We Buy Any Home is an experienced cash house buyer that operates in a fully managed way to sell your house after a divorce This can be particularly useful if you are going through a stressful divorce or separation and feel it is easiest to sell before drawn-out court proceedings and legal action.

As you can see from the choices above, it is not simple when it comes to remaining in the family home following a separation or divorce. Seeking legal advice is the best plan of action and your solicitor will make sure you – and your children if you have them – come out of proceedings in the best possible standing. We often have clients querying, how much equity is my ex entitled to? Without legal help, there’s simply no straightforward answer. However, to help protect yourself against an ex trying to force a sale, you should seek a Notice of Home Right against the property. This will stop your ex selling a property without your say so whilst you are still legally married, regardless of who has ownership.

If you need to sell your house due to divorce or need some advice about how to sell your house fast, call our team today on 0808 273 6007. Operating as cash house buyers helps remove some of the stresses you may be going through as we can operate quicker than other types of estate agent. We buy any house meaning we can give you the opportunity to move on quicker and begin a new chapter.

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