I see this question a lot, “Can my spouse sell our home without my permission?” Sometimes both spouses own a house and are listed on the deed. Other times, only one spouse owns the house and is listed on the deed. In either instance, the answer is “no”. One spouse cannot sell the couple’s home without the consent of the other.
If both spouses are on the deed, then the simple fact that they are joint owners means both have to consent to the sale. If only one spouse owns the house, the other spouse is still protected by Mississippi’s homestead law.
Long ago, it was common for the husband to own the house and land but not the wife. To protect the wife, a law was passed that required the wife to agree to the sale before the husband could sell their home.
This right is known as a “homestead right.” It effectively gave the wife a veto power over any effort of the husband to sell the home or to put a mortgage on the home.
Today, the homestead right is available to both a husband and wife. Both have to sign any deed or mortgage on their home, regardless of whether both are legal owners of the house.
All that is necessary to have a homestead right is that the property in question actually be the primary residence of a couple who are living there together. (There are also some exceptions if the spouses are living apart, such as one having wrongfully forced the other to leave the home.) You should consult with an Attorney for more information on these exceptions.
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Original content by: Attorney Craig Panter of Panter Law Firm