Unfortunately, some separations result in the unwanted sale of property. But what happens if one party refuses to sell?
The large majority of couples hold their property as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. This means that both parties are title holders of the property and therefore must sign any contract of sale for it to be valid.
If one party refuses to sell a property it is possible to seek that the courts intervene to force the sale.
When will the court force the sale?
The court is likely to force a sale in the following circumstances:-
- If there is no other way to effect a property settlement that is just and equitable in all the circumstances.
- If one party is in default of a Court Order.
- If the party seeking to retain the property cannot demonstrate to the court that they have the capacity to refinance the debt of the property into their sole name.
If these circumstances arise, the court can make an Order that places control of the sale in the party who is not being obstructionist to the sale process.
Upon separation it is always wise that you take time to understand your legal and financial position quickly so that you don’t find yourself subject of an adverse court application.
If you or someone you know is in this position, contact one our family law team members.