Legal Question in Family Law in Maryland

Good morning ,I have a quick question for you.Im in a 20 year relantionship with a woman and we have decided to part ways.We have 1 child together and house.We are not married.I decided to leave in January and live elsewhere and i want to put the house on the market asap. Im willing to allow her and my child to stay at the house until it is sold.She refuses to sell or move.The mortgage is in my name and the deed is in both of our names.I want to make this as easy as possible .I dont want anything from the home except my tools.Can i make her sell the house?Im being told that she can live there for 2 years even if we werent married?I looked up the laws in Maryland and i dont understand it. Please let me know what the law states before i do this and will i need a lawyer. thanksTodd

Asked on 1/01/12, 1:51 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Sher Wagshal and Sher

Since you are not married, there is no such time period. The only way you can make her sell the house is to file a lawsuit known as a partition action. This asks a judge to appoint a trustee to sell the property and divide any proceeds between the parties. The other option would be, if she's willing and able to carry a mortgage, and can qualify for a loan, for her to buy you out so you can pay off the current mortgage. Of course, you will have a continuing obligation to pay her child support until the child finishes high school or turns 18. You should definitely consult with an attorney experienced in this area of the law about this.

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Answered on 1/03/12, 6:51 am
Raquel S. White Law Office of Raquel S. White, LLC

The two-year time period that you are referring to is called "use and possession". That does not apply in your situation as you were not married. That is only something that can be granted incident to a divorce. As for the house, it sounds like you will have to file a partition action. In that type of a case, the court can order that the house be sold depite her wishes.

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Answered on 1/03/12, 8:56 am

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