Selling Your Home While Going Through A Divorce
For a couple, agreeing on when to put a house up for sale can be difficult because they may not agree on what time best suits the family and takes advantage of a good market. When the couple is going through a divorce, making this decision becomes more difficult. Divorce brings in more issues that can complicate even a simple sale, and infuse emotional motives into the desire to sell or keep the house. For instance, one spouse may wish to sell the home even in a depressed housing market simply to get the other spouse out of the house.
It may surprise some people to learn that the divorce does not have to be completely finalized before a couple can sell the marital home. If the couple can agree to sell the home, and they can agree on what a good fair market price for the home is, they can list and sell the home while the divorce is pending. The couple can also agree on how the money received from the sale would be split between them.
However, because the marital home is most often considered marital property, a divorcing couple may need their divorce judge’s approval to sell the home. The money from the sale of the home may also be kept in escrow pending a final division of the marital assets.
Just because one spouse remained in the home when the couple split and filed for divorce does not mean that the spouse will automatically be awarded the home in the divorce. There are several factors that a court looks to in order to make its final decision under Florida’s equitable distribution of marital property.
This is not a situation where the marital assets are split 50/50 as is done in community property states. Therefore, if the spouse who is not living in the house while the divorce is going on wishes to keep the home, he or she may consider waiting until everything is settled before selling. It is best to discuss the particulars of this decision with an experienced divorce attorney.
Generally, when a divorce is pending, both spouses would remain responsible for making sure the marital home is maintained, with the mortgage paid and all the bills up to date. However, if a judge has entered a temporary order requiring one spouse to make these payments, then that spouse is still responsible for making those payments until the home sells. The spouse who was ordered to make such payments does not automatically get a larger share of the money from the sale of the home because he made these ordered payments.
If one spouse owns a property that is determined not be marital property, the spouse who holds title can sell it at any time without any effect on the divorce, unless there is a question about the status of the property. In this case, the sale may have to be put off until the court makes a determination that the property is truly non marital property that can be sold for the benefit of one spouse only.
Contact Us for More Information
If you are thinking of filing for divorce and would like more information about the division of marital property and debt, contact an experienced Boca Raton, Florida divorce attorney at Law Offices of Schwartz l White for a consultation.