You have a boyfriend named Brad.  You love Brad.  You want to live happily ever after with Brad.  So you and Brad buy a house. Then you find Brad with another woman in your new bedroom. Now you hate Brad.  You break up with Brad.  Now you want to get rid of this house.  But Brad doesn’t want to sell.

So what can you do?  Besides getting a new boyfriend, you have to force him to sell.  Selling real estate with someone who is uncooperative is not easy but it is possible.  You can file a lawsuit for partition (also known as a forced property sale).

A lawsuit for partition is a formal request for the court to order the sale of your real estate.  If you are a co-owner of real estate, the court can divide the property equally (if it is undeveloped land) or order the real estate sold at a public auction – even if Brad doesn’t want to.

There are a few limitations to consider if you choose this option.  First, the judge cannot order a private sale.  The court cannot appoint a real estate agent or place a listing on the local MLS.  Second, the judge cannot set a minimum price of the real estate; the final price is the winning bid at a public auction.  The date and time of the auction is published in a local newpaper – not on the MLS.

After the real estate is sold at auction, the proceeds are used to pay off the mortgage and the rest is divided between the co-owners.  If you made any improvements to the property (e.g. built a deck or installed hardwood flooring) before the sale, you should receive reimbursement for any out of pocket costs. On the other hand, if you stayed in the property and Brad left before the sale, you’ll be responsible for reasonable rent during that time.

And that’s how you break a house in half.  Now you’ve got Momentum on your side!