How do I sell a house that has both my name and my estranged husband’s name on it?

UPDATED: Jul 27, 2011

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How do I sell a house that has both my name and my estranged husband’s name on it?

My husband left several months ago, but was paying support. He recently stopped paying and now it has become necessary to sell our house because I cannot afford to make the payments on my salary along with all the other bills for my children and myself. Is there a way to force him to sign a power of attorney giving me permission to sell the house to pay debts in both our names?

Asked on July 27, 2011 Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your husband refuses to sign a power of attorney allowing you the authority to sign his name to a contract to sell the house and he refuses to sign a quitclaim deed to the property releasing his interests in it to you, you do not have a lot of other options except one.

The option would be that if you already have a dissolution action filed, you file a petition with the court for an order that the home be sold and that both of you sign all documents to get the sale done. If that is the order, and he refuses to sign the documents to close escrow on the home's sale, the court could possibly order him to sign or the court can hold him in contempt of its order.

The above suggestion is a little drastic and perhaps the court may not make an order forcing the sale of the home, but it is something to look into with a good family law lawyer.

Good luck.


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