Doesn't want to sell the house

(5 Posts)
sadfairy Thu 10-Oct-13 13:26:55

I am separating from my husband, and I am looking to move out and try and rent until we sell the house.

Just say my husband decides to keep on living in the marital home and won't sell after I move out - can I force him to sell?

whattherainknows Thu 10-Oct-13 13:55:25

Yes and no. You can't force him to sell, but as part of a divorce you'll be able to claim your share of the equity, which he would likely have to sell the house or re-mortgage it to get that equity to you. If he's stubborn about it you'll probably have to take him to court. How much equity you get will depend on your contribution, rather than a 50/50 split. Even if your name is not on the paperwork.

You won't be left high and dry, but you would have to divorce him to force a sale as I understand it.

If divorce is in your future, you'll have to be separated for 2 years, unless one of you has been with someone else or one of the other "instant divorce" grounds are met (not sure what these are, I believe violence may be one). And that's if he agrees. If he doesn't want a divorce you have to be separated for 5 years before you can force it through. I hope he'll see reason though.

Again, if you do go down the divorce route, if you are on a low income it is worth checking if you qualify for legal aid. I wouldn't have been able to afford to get divorced without it, and mine was straightfoward (no kids, no shared assets). My solicitor charged £160/hour. The 2nd stage of the divorce has a court fee of about £350. So def worth checking about legal aid!

(just found the grounds for divorce page that says about time lengths https://www.gov.uk/divorce/grounds-for-divorce)

whattherainknows Thu 10-Oct-13 13:58:04

Ah, scratc what I said about having to divorce, according to https://www.gov.uk/money-property-when-relationship-ends finances are dealt with separately to divorce via court order. I got confused because it's normally done at the same time!

sadfairy Fri 11-Oct-13 13:15:45

Thank you for replying - hopefully it won't come to that.

HappyAsASandboy Fri 11-Oct-13 13:22:49

It is worth bearing in mind that even if he "has" to sell (court ordered, to pay you money, whatever), if he doesn't want to sell he can make it very difficult.

If he's living there without you, the property could be on the market for years. He may not tidy for photos/viewings, he may tell everyone you're neighbours are awful. He could instigate a fight with neighbours that would mean declaring hostilities to prospective buyers. He could let the property fall into disrepair and point every niggle out to prospective buyers. He can cook stinky food, play heavy metal music and invite seven friends round to slob in the lounge for every viewing.

Whatever the law says, it is much harder to sell a house with a reluctant occupier than it is if you're there to oversee things.

I'd think really carefully before leaving your home if you need the money (especially if you need the money in the short to medium term).

Good luck, whatever you decide.

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