12 answers

Can He Sell the House

My huband purchased our home 3 years ago prior to us getting married so therefore the house is in his name only. We are going thru a tough time now and he wants to sell the house. I want to stay in the house seeing that there are children involved. Do I have any recourse seeing that my name is not on the title. He's willing to have me refinance it in my name, is this possible since my name is not on it in the first place

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More Answers

Per Florida Law, because you are legally married to him, he cannot sell the house without you signing a piece of paper agreeing to the sale. Without your signature the house cannot be sold. This would come up at the closing. (my husband is a real estate broker) In other words, your husband would go through all of the motions of selling the house and find buyer, realtor, etc. And this ONE point would not come up until they were at the closing. He would not be able to sell the house unless you signed off on the paperwork.

Good Luck.


Hi, my name is B., I work in the mortgage business, so I know a little about the law. If you live in the state of Florida, and this is your marital home, you automatically have 1/2 interest in the home. Regardless of the home being only in his name, you are in a sense silently on the title and would be entitled to half of the proceeds.
You can refinance the house in your name even though you are not on title. You would be added to title during the transaction. With that being said, if you are still married and refi, he would have 1/2 interest in the property. I would research a little more, a title company would be a good start. They could probably answer all of your legal questions.
Good Luck.

Hi, you've gotten a lot of conflicting advice...I would recommend you go online and do a search for Florida statutes pertaining to marital property. I don't remember the exact website, but there is a family law section, and it might be joshua.com...I wish you luck, and if your marriage isn't fixable, sue for the house because your children are going to need SOMETHING that is a normal thing once it all starts...
I divorced several years ago. It doesn't mean YOU are a failure, OR a bad mom. Somethings just aren't meant to be...

I'm not going through a tough time, But I do know that if anything happens with the house (selling, refinancing, equity), you will automatically go onto the title before the action takes place. We just took an equity line out on the house, which my husband had been living in for 3 years before we got married 6 months ago. Anyway, when we took the equity out, I was automatically put on the deed, just for the fact that I'm his wife. It doesn't matter who is CURRENTLY on the title- just by the two of you getting married you're automatically 1/2 owner of the home. You might not be on the loan/refi (i'm not on our equity, just the deed/title) but you are listed as an owner when new documents are processed, which will happen with any change in the home- refi, equity or sale.

I asked all this of our loan officer when we went through the equity, plus I worked in mortgage for quite a while, that's why I went so in depth.

You said you're going through a tough time... if you think it's ending, I'd seriously consult a lawyer to protect your interests in this.

Yes this is possible. You can refinance and put It into your name. What will happen is that you will simply get a loan and pay his current mortgage off, then a new loan will be made into your name-However since you are married he will have to sign the title and a few other papers(nothing to do with your mortgage)


Hello my name is D., and I work at a law firm who handles these types of problems. From the legal point of view it is his house because it's in his name, but you guys are married and have children the only way to do anything is take him to court, which I know you don't want to do. If you refinance you guys should do it together so there is no if ands or buts about who's loan it is and who owes it. Hope things work out. D.

Debbie is correct on this. I used to work for a title company and there is a form that the spouse has to sign agreeing to the sale of the property. Like Debbie said depending on the company that is handling the closing this form may not even be brought to your husbands attention until closing. Our title company always sent out the form before closing and we would not schedule a closing date until we had it back in our office but all offices do it differently.

So I guess in answer to your question, no your husband can not sell the home without your authorization as long as you are legally married.

As far as refinancing the house I am not really sure how that would work, I am sure that it could be done but you may want to contact a title company to find out what you would have to do. You can also contact your lending institution and they should be able to tell you what you would need to do to refinance the house in your name.

Good luck with everything.

Hi L.:
I moved to FL from WI about a year ago. I'm not sure of FL law, but I know in WI there is the marital property law which states that anything either of you own still belongs to the other if you're married. If he is willing to let you refinance it in your name then go for it, but make sure you have the title work switched to your name also. T.

Hi, L.
I am a Realtor. Please view my advice as just that - advice - because I am not a lawyer. By law I have to disclaim both.
One thing I know is that divorces are terrible!
Ok. When you got married, unless you prepared a doc. called a "prenuptial agreement" specifying that certains things would not get comingled, what was his is yours and what is yours is his (to a certain limit) INCLUDING ALL YOUR DEBTS!
I believe that your primary homesteaded residence can not be sold from under your feet, because you re his rightful wife. Even thou he is the only person on the loan and title, you still have rights over 50% of it's ownership. You will also have a 30% (I believe) interest over the rest of your common assets, including his income (don't take my word, contact a lawyer, that is why divorces cost more than weddings).
Now, remember as I said you will also share in HIS DEBTS! That means if he defaults, your credit goes to the sewers, too.
Consider this: you get divorced and he moves out - he will have to pay for a separate bill for his living expenses - rent, electricity, phone, etc. and he will have to give you allimony and child support. What are the chances that you will both be able to keep up with the mortgage payments? If you delay more than 30 days, you could be in deep trouble. Four months and the foreclosure process starts, then you will be looking for a rental, that is for sure! And when those future landlords pull your credit, you will find yourself living with your parents.
You are together for less than 3 years, already have another child - honey, you haven't begun to see what tough times are! Your 16 year old child can become the most unstable thing in your life in a very short period.
I can offer to put your house up for sale so you both can take whatever little equity there is and go your separate ways. But L., the market is very flat, it could take a YEAR to sell the house.
My best advice - from woman to woman - work it out! Love is a "verb" - TO LOVE - it requires "action".
It does not stay alive unless you work on it.
By action I mean things we do, such as to talk, to give in, to get tough, to admire, to move on, to change, to sacrifice, to consult, to strike a deal, to mature, to work harder, to touch, to forgive.
Ask anybody who have been married for many years if they haven't been on the brink of blowing, at least once every 5 years.
If you need someone to talk to, my shoulder is free.
S. Borges

Wow everyone has a lot of opinions. I can tell you exactly what happened to my husband and I. We both owned homes before we were married. When I sold my house, which did not close until after we got married, I could not sell it myself, my husbands name had to first be added and he had to give consent to sell it. And he never lived one day in that home. Then a year later when we moved out of his home, I had to do the same. So from my experience, your home belongs to both of you once you are married, but you should seek legal advice anyway.

He can sell the house because it was puchased before you were married, it's labeled as personal property. You can either assume the mortgage if he's willing to let you do that, but you will have to credit qualify. Or you can purchase the home from him. If you are getting a divorce the smartest thing you can do is take whichever option that will completely remove any rights he has to the property or it can get sticky later on.

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