Divorce can be a complicated process, including figuring out the question of what to do with your house. What happens to a house in case of a divorce becomes an integral point of discussion.
Many people facing divorce opt to sell their houses. Before couples decide whether to keep or sell a house during a divorce, they need to understand the selling process.
Here’s how you sell a house during a divorce:
Understanding your Decision
Selling a house as a shared asset is important for both personal and financial convenience. It acts as closure when it comes to emotional and legal perspectives. Choosing to use an attorney or a real estate agent is a decision that couples need to make to avoid future arguments.
For instance, couples should analyze whether the house needs any repairs before selling it and who will cater for the expenses. In addition, a decision of who will be responsible for the selling process should be made.
Choosing to sell the house before the divorce means that the couple will have to split the dividends. Selling the house after the divorce, on the other hand, means that the spouse who owns the house gets the profit.
It is advisable to consult your attorney regarding alimony laws in your state. Your real estate agent is important for determining the house price.
Court Order Issuance
The issuing of a court order comes after the couples make a stipulation. A stipulation is an agreement between the couples that they have written and signed. This agreement helps in the making of critical decisions as the couples are legally bound.
Stipulations often reduce further legal actions or possible arguments during the selling process. In instances where couples don’t opt for a stipulation, selling a house should be done before the divorce.
A partition lawsuit is a court order where the court controls the selling of the house and the sharing of the profits among the couples. A partition lawsuit is always expensive and time-consuming. For instance, it is costly in terms of sale costs, courts sales, and attorney fees.
Some decisions that should be made include:
- The real estate agent or attorney that will represent them
- The price at which the homes will retail at
- Who will make vital communication such as with the real estate agent
- Approving and rejecting potential offers
- Who will represent them to their potential clients
- If there are liens, mortgages or encumbrances, whose portion will cover them
Couples need to decide on the offer. A real estate agent plays an essential role in the determining of how much the house will retail at. Whether they choose to sell a house before or after the divorce, it is important to include an attorney.
A real estate agent can be consulted in case couples cannot agree on the price. Making a profitable sale is important as it may help cater for imminent debts.
Completing the Sale
Once a couple has sold the house, they need to agree on how they will share the returns. An attorney is vital as they will guide the process by the state laws concerning property distribution.
It is crucial to determine whether the house is a shared asset or if there was a prenuptial agreement that dictates who owned the house.
Equitable distribution law guarantees a fair division of property. It takes into considerations any debts owned and salary each earns. The court takes into account several factors before deciding on the property, whether it is marital property or separate property.
These factors include:
- What individual spouses had achieved in terms of salary and properties by the time they were getting married
- How long the couple was married before the divorce
- The health status and the age of the couple during the divorce
- The presence of children in the marriage and whether they will need other marital property
- Whether the couple have an inheritance or receiving benefits that accompany pensions
- The efforts of one spouse towards the building of the house. For instance, whether the woman sacrificed her career for the family.
In many instances, the reasons why the couple divorced is not considered during the distribution of property. However, in cases of joint accounts, couples are advised to close all the accounts to prevent paying off future debts, including being sued by creditors. The presence of children affects many decisions that are to be made, such as the distribution of property.
For example, the spouse who becomes the custodian of the children gets the house until the children graduate. If the selling of the house is happening during the divorce, the court always guarantees the safety of the children through exclusive occupancy rights as legally dictated.
Sell a House During a Divorce
It is essential to have an attorney for legal presentation and a real estate adviser for sound financial decisions. Even with the emotional roller-coaster, it is vital to keep yourself first.
Contact us to learn more about how you can make more profit when you decide to sell a house during a divorce.