When a Seller of a home, which was the matrimonial home prior to a separation, is in the Seller’s name, problem can arise. If the Seller is not yet divorced certain steps need to be made to ensure the sale goes smoothly.

The Dower Act requires that the Seller’s spouse either consent to the sale of that particular home or sign a document waiving their dower rights. The failure to have such a document in hand as the Closing Date nears will make the Seller scramble to obtain the consent or discharge so that a sale can be completed.

Prior to selling the property, if you are married and are selling a home which you and/or your spouse lived in after the date of your marriage, you must have a signed and commissioned dower release which states the legal description of the property.

Prior to listing the property for sale, if you do not have such a document and believe that you may have a problem getting your spouse to sign one or consent to the sale, see your lawyer to deal with the issue. There are several ways in which your lawyer may be able to resolve the situation if he or she is given adequate time to do so.