Is Selling Your Home Before The Divorce Is Finalized A Possibility?

There are several reasons that a divorcing couple might want to sell their home before the final decree is issued, including a financial need. However, whether it is allowed depends largely on the state's laws and the judge. If you are divorcing and want to sell your home now, here is what you need to know.

Can You Sell It?

Some states have laws that prohibit the sale of the home until after the divorce is finalized. However, there could be an exception that allows it if there are mitigating circumstances that require it. For instance, if both parties agree to the sale and there is a demonstrable financial need, the judge might agree to the sale.

In states that do not prohibit the sale of the home, the court would still need to be informed of the decision. Once the petition for divorce was filed, the court has to be notified of any sales or transfers of property that was acquired throughout the marriage. Depending on the court, there could potentially be a restraining order on the ability to sell or transfer property that would need to be lifted before the sale can continue.

What If Your Spouse Does Not Agree?

If your spouse is objecting to the sale of the family home and there are no state's laws that prohibit the sale, you will need to take your case to the court. A judge will determine whether you can place the home on the market. The force sale of the home could be done with an order from the judge.

Normally, the judge will not force the issue until the divorce nears completion, but if you can convince the judge it is necessary, he or she can issue an order that allows you to list the home. At that point, you and your spouse will need to reach an agreement on what happens with the proceeds from the home.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on the division of the proceeds from the sale, the court will decide. It is important to note that the home's sale could impact other areas of your divorce, including alimony and the division of other assets.

Before asking the court for permission to sell your home, talk to your divorce attorney, such as from Eschbacher Law . He or she can talk to you about the state's laws and explore other options you have to resolve financial issues if that is the reason you want to sell your home now.