How do I Force the Sale of Our Family Home?

Author: Vancouver Family Lawyer Matthew Katsionis

Your ex stuck you with the bill for the family home, took off and you can’t afford to continue to pay the mortgage. Debt is adding up, and the taxes are due. Foreclosure is a real possibility. You need your ex to sign off on selling the property, and they refuse. How do you protect your credit, and the equity in the home? One option is to force to sale of the matrimonial home.

A similar situation arises when an ex refuses to leave the property and are still on the hook for the mortgage, lines of credit, and taxes.  Forcing the sale, through Partition and Sale, involves applying to the court and receiving an order to force the sale of the property.  When doing so, the court can specify parameters for the sale of the home such as:

  • Granting one spouse sole decision making for the sale process;
  • Requiring no signature from one spouse to sell the property; and 
  • Holding the proceeds from the sale of the family home in a bank account until there is a decision on how to divide them.

Granting one spouse sole decision making for the sale process
This is an order that allows you to control all aspects of the sale including but not limited to, who the realtor will be, the listing price, and when the property will be shown to potential buyers. In situations of a pending foreclosure, this is an especially valuable order as you can control the price point so that if you have to lower it you can.

Requiring no signature from one spouse to sell the property
This allows you to sign any listing agreements, contracts of purchase and sale, bank mortgages, lines of credit, and plenty of other matters that arise when listing and selling a home without the need of your uncooperative (or in some cases, vanished) ex.

Holding the proceeds from the sale of the family home in a bank account until there is a decision on how to divide them
The court will often deposit the money either into a court trust account, or into a lawyer’s trust account so that the issue of how those funds will be divided can be decided on another day. We often request an interim distribution of family property so that you can get some money out of the sale right away. In cases of the “disappearing ex” we will seek that all the funds get paid out to you immediately.

What you Need to Do
Gather any financial documents you can regarding the home, as well as documents proving your ability to keep up with the payments.

At Crossroads Law we have forced the sale of dozens of properties to preserve any equity in these matrimonial homes for our clients. The last thing you want to happen is for a foreclosure to occur, resulting in the investment and hard work that you have put into your home disappearing.

Please contact us if you would like to set up a consultation on how to force the sale of the family home or for any other family law matter.

Filed Under
Matrimonial Property