Can my ex force me to sell?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my ex force me to sell?

I own a house with my ex. My ex left this property over 2 years ago. I have been the one making all the payments and keeping the house. Now my ex says she is taking me to court to force me to sell if I dont refinance it to get her name off of it. I want to refinance but because my ex left me when I couldn’t afford the house I got behind so that affected me credit. I am caught up now and have been for a year but my credit isn’t where it needs to be to refinance. On top of that the house is in a flood zone, our mayor is trying to get us out of the flood zone and FEMA says they will have an answer for us by May, so I am trying to hold off until we have an answer from them as well. Since my ex abandoned this property and I am the one that has been paying for it, can she force me to sell?

Asked on March 25, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she can force you to sell: the law does not allow you to force her to retain or hold onto property when she does not want to. When the two (or more) owners of property cannot agree as to what to do with it, one of them can bring a legal action for "partition": for a court order requiring that the property be sold and the proceeds (after paying cost of sale and any mortgages or liens) be split between the owners. The fact that the ex doesn't live there or that you are paying for it does not change her legal right to force a sale, unless you and she voluntarily work something else out.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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