Should I Sell My House During My Divorce?
A common question of an individual going through a divorce, is what should they do with their marital home; sell it or keep it. However, there are many factors that will need to be weighed and discussed when considering the disposition of a marital home. Therefore, before you make any decisions, speak with your Tallahassee Divorce Attorney and they will be able to inform you of the options available as well as the obstacles you may need to overcome in order to sell your home during your divorce.
The key issue with the disposition of a marital home is that it is not your sole property, your spouse has an equal interest in the home. Therefore, you cannot unilaterally decide what happens to the property. Under Florida law, marital property is subject to equitable distribution between the parties. Therefore, each party has rights to the joint property and equal say in what happens to the property until a court order provides for the assignment of property to each respective spouse. In some courts, upon the filing of a divorce action, they prohibit the sale of any property by either spouse, in order to maintain the assets and status quo of the marital property and liabilities until they can come before the court for a determination. However, you may overcome this prohibition with an agreement between you and your spouse or a court order.
If you decide that you wish to sell your home and not to retain possession after the divorce, proper contracts will need to be made and steps taken. If during the pendency of your divorce proceedings, you will likely be required to split the proceeds of the sale equally with your spouse and obtain their consent to the sale of the property. Within the agreement to sell the home during the divorce, it will be important to lay out the specifics of the sale and expectations of the parties. For instance, you can agree on a specific realtor to sell the home, the bottom-line price for sale, the timeline of sale to allow proper time to seek new living arrangements, set dates for closings, moving, and when each spouse will be paid their portion of the proceeds. Make sure this agreement is in writing, as to avoid any surprises or push back and minimize the potential for conflicts.
Many choose to sell their home during their divorce in order to obtain new housing separate from their partner, pay their outstanding debts, pay their attorney fees, or begin the process of moving forward in their new single life. However, it is important to also consider other factors that may affect your decision on the timing of your sale. For instance, the value of the home could be different during the pendency of the divorce versus the value it may be after your divorce. It would be perceptive to get an informed estimate as to the value of the home and the current and future housing market. This will provide you with a better understanding and allow you to make an educated decision for the most beneficial time to sell your home. Further, it may be valuable to wait until the conclusion of your divorce to sell your home because you may be awarded sole ownership of the home in the divorce during the equitable distribution process and therefore, will not have to split the proceeds of the sale with your spouse after the divorce. Although this instance is rare, it is still a concern to bring to your Tallahassee Divorce Attorney’s attention and gain their advice in your current case.
Your Tallahassee Divorce Attorney is experienced in equitable distribution and will be able to provide you with recommendations on your specific case as well as support you in the decision to sell your home by drafting the necessary contracts and agreements necessary to secure a proper sale during your divorce between you and your spouse.
Speaking to an attorney at our Tallahassee office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 850-307-5211 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.