During the divorce process, you may be confronted with a dilemma — do I keep my house during divorce, or can I sell it? Unfortunately, this question alone is often a huge source of stress for divorcing spouses. While keeping the family home can offer a place of stability, selling it can lead to much needed financial gains. Fortunately, an experienced family law attorney
at the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks
can help. Below, we discuss everything you need to know about selling a house after a divorce agreement.
If I Move Out of the House, Can I Still Sell It?
From a legal standpoint, whether you move out or not does not affect your interest on the property. A spouse that holds community property interest will retain that interest regardless of if they live there or not. However, before the house is sold, moving out from the home can pose many practical and financial concerns. For instance, for the spouse still living in the house, they may need to start making monthly mortgage payments that they didn't need to make before. Or, for the higher earning spouse, now he or she must worry about splitting their income between two households instead of just one. You combat these concerns by setting realistic expectations ahead of time, and agreeing on these expectations with your spouse. Let's dive deeper into these expectations.
Expectations on Selling a House After a Divorce Agreement
Most often, selling a house after a divorce agreement is more complicated than just normally selling a house. This is due in part before of Standard Family Law Restraining Orders that take effect the minute you file a divorce petition. Under these restraining orders, the sale of a family residence must be accompanied by a court order or written agreement. Typically, the easiest way to selling a house after divorce is by signing a written agreement between you and your spouse, which then becomes a court order. However, before you sign this agreement, make sure to get adequate legal representation from a family law attorney to go over the terms and conditions. Some of those terms and conditions includes the following:
- How will the real estate professional be chosen? Will you have an equal say on who is selling your house?
- How will the price of your house be set?
- If need be, how will a reduction in price be decided?
- Do both spouses get a say on approval of any offers?
- Which spouse is responsible for getting the house ready to show prospective buyers?
- Other than the mortgage, will sale proceeds need to help cover any liens or encumbrances?
- Will sale proceeds be distributed to all parties in whole or in part?
Those are just a few provisions to consider. For a more detailed list, or for specific terms, speak with an experienced family law attorney now.
Getting Permission From the Court to Sell the House Before Trial
Do you have to wait until the end of your divorce to sell your house? In short, no. However, you need to provide a solid reason to the court for selling it early. Below are some common reasons for selling your home before the divorce trial.
The Threat of Foreclosure
Failing to make your monthly mortgage payments will lead to foreclosure proceedings. In addition, failing to make property tax payments can also lead to the same consequence. When facing foreclosure on your family home, you can file a request with the court to obtain permission to sell the home as soon as possible. If you are in this situation, then you must act as diligently as possible. Foreclosure never serves in the best interest of either spouse.
Needing to Pay Attorney Fees
Some divorces require significant representation which leads to expensive litigation fees. If neither spouse can cover these fees, then you can request the court liquidate your assets, including your home, to cover those costs.
Learn More About Selling a House After a Divorce Agreement
For more information about selling a house after a divorce agreement, contact the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks