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What do I do if my ex won't sign to sell our house?
You cannot force a sale, but you can try to come to an agreement with them, by either buying them out or selling them your part of the property.
If you’re currently dealing with a divorce, dealing with your shared belongings can become hard work very quickly. One of the assets that tend to cause the most problems in a divorce is the house; which is why here at We Buy Any House, we’ve gathered some questions that our customers have come to us with regarding their rights to the house.
While it can be tempting to try and threaten to force a sale, your ex does have some rights that will mean you’re unable to force them to agree to the sale of your shared property, even if you’re the sole owner. They can protect themselves with a matrimonial home rights notice, which will mean that you’re unable to sell the property or increase the mortgage without them being notified. This means they’re able to dispute the decision, which will ultimately result in the process being stopped.
You do, however, have other options to get rid of the house and proceed with the finalisation of your divorce. You can look into buying your partner out if you can afford to, or look into how you can persuade them to sell the house – often, offering a weighted split of the sales proceeds can influence your partner, providing you’re in a position to do this.
If your ex won’t agree to either route, you should consult a lawyer for more support to help you come to a solution. You could look into applying to the courts for an order of sale, which will allow you to gain the right to sell if you’re successful, but it’s recommended to do all you can to come to a resolution out of court if possible.
What if there are children involved?
Wherever children are involved in a divorce, the courts will take into consideration their welfare and needs above all else. Generally, it’s favoured that younger children stay in the family home to try and limit the disruption to their lives. However, this isn’t always the case. This means that if you’re the primary carer of the children, you do have a higher chance of being able to gain the rights to the house, but that is not always guaranteed. Often, judges will implement a mesher order, in which an agreement is made that the children stay in the family home until a particular event, such as they all turn 18, or finish their time in education. Again, this differs case to case, so if you’re looking for this sort of solution, it’s best to get professional advice from a lawyer. They will be able to tell you what is the most likely outcome in your situation and what may be a better solution for you.
So what do I do?
The best thing to do in these situations, while not being easy, is to try your best to come to an agreement out of the courts. The most common resolution is one spouse buying out the other to gain full ownership, allowing them to either keep the house or sell it on if they choose to. The problem that many homeowners face is that they can’t afford to buy the other out in full, even if they would be able to manage the monthly mortgage payments on their own.
At this point, there are still options. You can look into refinancing, providing you have a good enough income and credit score, allowing you to have the funds to buy your partner out and continue with your life. If you’re able to do this, but your ex-partner is still not open to any sort of resolution, you can offer an ultimatum of sorts; you buy them out, or you will apply to the court to gain the right to sell the property with an order to sale.
How do I apply for an order to sale?
You will need to go to the county court and obtain a county court judgement. After this has been successful, you can start the process for an order to sale. To do this, you’ll need to attend a hearing, where a judge will hear your case along with your ex-partner’s. Both of your situations will be taken into account, along with your behaviour throughout the case. If you are successful and are awarded the right to take possession of the property, you will be able to sell the property to release the money, and then have to distribute it in the way that will have been decided in the court between you and your ex-partner.
What if my ex doesn’t comply with the order to sale?
As a court order, your ex-partner should comply to any decision made. Still, if for whatever reason they don’t, you’re able to go back to the courts and have a judge sign the contract for your sale, along with the completion forms on behalf of your ex-partner if they’re refusing to do so.
If a judge decrees that the house should not be sold, there is usually an alternative put into place. This may be in the form of a mesher order, which delays the sale, but tends to result in a sale down the line after whatever rules are put in place for the order. These tend to be once all children in the house reach a certain age. At this point, you can try to appeal the verdict if you feel that it’s an unfair decision, but a judge will always put the welfare of children in the house first, so your appeal may not be successful if the verdict is to implement a mesher order.
Often, you can resolve these issues without having to resort to the courts. It can take lots of time and lots of deliberating, but ultimately sitting down and talking things through can save you a lot of hardship and a lot of money going through a court. That’s why here at We Buy Any House, we do everything we can to get your house sold quickly and easily, limiting the stress of an average sale after you’ve come to an agreement with your ex-partner. We offer free quotes, and also have a dedicated page with lots of helpful information about your property during a divorce.
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