Q: I am sole owner of a house in Kansas that I wish to sell. What are my options if my spouse refuses to sign at closing?
An offer has been made and accepted by me.
A: The Kansas Constitution provides that, "A homestead to the extent of one hundred and sixty acres of farming land, or of one acre within the limits of an incorporated town or city, occupied as a residence by the family of the owner, togeth er with all the improvements on the same...shall not be alienated without the joint consent of husband and wife, when that relation exists..." Kansas Constitution, Article 15, Section 9. Kansas probate law provides that, "the surviving spouse shall be entitled to receive one-half of all real estate of which the decedent at any time during the marriage was seized or possessed and to the disposition whereof the survivor shall not have consented in writing, or by a will, or by an election as provided by law to take under a will...The surviving spouse shall not be entitled to any interest under the provisions of this section in any real estate of which such decedent in such decedent's lifetime made a conveyance, when such spouse at the time of the conveyance was not a resident of this state and never had been during the existence of the marriage relation." K.S.A. 59-505. In summary, if the sale is for your homestead, or if your spouse has ever been a Kansas resident at any time during your marriage, your spouse's signature is required.
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