Tenants in common question

Hi Erin,

My absolute divorce should be final in August. We do not have signed SA and there are no pending ED claims. I am choosing not to file an ED claim prior to divorce because it actually works in my favor not to (i.e., 401k, etc.); my stbx does not have an atty and does not realize his right to ED will expire upon absolute divorce.

The only issue with me not filing for ED is joint-ownership of the marital home, which I reside in with the mortgage solely in my name. I understand that upon absolute divorce we will be considered “tenants in common”. I want to sell this home within the next 3-6 months, whereas he wants me to wait several years until the market completely rebounds when we can sell for a higher price.

My question is this: after the absolute divorce, what means do I have to force him to allow me to sell under the laws for NC tenants in common? I am hopeful there is some remedy available through the courts if he refuses to allow me to list the property and/or accept an offer.

You may petition the court for a partition of the property and the court will decide whether or not the home will be sold.

Thanks. What are the factors the court reviews in determining if the home is to be sold in that situation? Also, is petitioning the court a costly endeavor if I ended up needing to go that route?

I do not practice in that area of the law, however I do know that the process to partition is more complicated than dividing the value of the home as part of equitable distribution.

Is there some sort of claim I can file prior to the absolute divorce that allows the court to rule on how we should handle just the marital property and not on 401k, taxes, and other assets?

No, the claim you need to file to deal with the home is a claim for equitable distribution, and it will encompass all marital assets.