Selling the House During a Divorce
Divorce is one of the most difficult and raw experiences that people go through. One of the stingiest and perhaps daunting aspects is the division of assets and property. The marital home is one of the largest possessions of a married couple, both literally and value-ably. The issue of the selling of the marital home is a major hurdle in the way of the people who want to part ways. It most often, if not always, the case that living together is a potent factor of the divorce. And often neither the husband or wife want to stay in their marital home, reminded of the past but wanting to move forward to the next stage. The essence of this article is to ease the task of selling the marital home before or after the divorce, giving people the tools for a smooth transition in selling their marital home and getting the most there is to gained financially in order to kick start the change in their life.
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This sudden and emergent need to make a sale on the house is not only beneficial for the divorcing couple but also potential homeowners who are looking for a reliable and adequate home. This is so because most homeowners do not want or can pay the exorbitant real estate value of the market and often lose out on a good home. These homes can be easily available at lower prices for homeowners looking for a better or bigger home, as well as easing the divorcing couple’s need to get over the process quickly and efficiently. As for divorcing couples who have either side looking to stay in the marital home, the dependent variable here is where the couple live; their location as well as whether the house is legally the joint property of both parties of the marriage. For example, in the US it is State Law that directs the progression of the division of assets and the ownership of property by each partner.
Where you live is very important, this is o because of the legal makeup of marriage laws in each state. One type is an Equitable Distribution State where a court judge has the complete and final say in the division of property to ensure fairness; a warning however is that this way may not be equal or even. Another type is a Community Property State, the assets and property are divided equally in half with each spouse getting the half of the home’s selling equity. Most couples usually sell their marital homes because in either legal asset division types a judge can’t award one spouse’s separate property to the other. In detail, marital property is considered separate if it was received as an inheritance or a gift or acquired before the marriage.
The increased stress of divorce can also aggravated by the task of the divorcing couple handling the sale of the house; of having to show the house yourself to potential buyers at their conveniences; in addition to having to negotiate and settle the price. Once a contract with the real estate agent is signed the divorce order comes into implementation.
Divorced Property Repairs
Furthermore, divorcing couples looking to sell their house also need to be conducting any and all minor repairs, maintenance, painting etc. The most effective solution is setting up a fund with each spouse paying an equal share. When deciding who to sell to, it is crucial to follow the agent’s advice but ultimately it rests solely on the couple, this is important because an effective kick start is the most beneficial for both party’s efforts after the divorce.
As discussed earlier, the marital home is the most financially stable and high asset that the couple own and it becomes quite an anchor for couples with children who are minors.The marital home’s distribution may depend on a judge or can settled between the two parties. There are several markers to indicate each spouses share in the equity of the martial home. If one spouse wishes to own the house completely they can Buy-out the shares of the other spouse and thus collect all its equity. Another solution most presented by the judicial system is awarding the property to one spouse to occupy and live in, and setting a date by which the couple has to sell that marital home. This step is usually taken for the spouse that is living with dependents of the couple especially children who are minors. Courts may also order the couple to immediately sell the house and divide the proceeds as instructed accordingly by the judicial system. Special cases such as those involving the marital home being technical property but is deemed to not be in the fairness of the other spouse are dealt with by awarding enough of other assets to that spouse in order to Off-Set the equity of the marital home.
Yet another special circumstance is where the courts divide the equity of the marital home to be implemented at a later date, referred to as a Deferred Distribution. For example in the aforementioned example case of children who are minors the judge can allow the spouse with the custody of the children to live in the marital home until the youngest child turns off age at 18 and after that the house must be sold. This ruling can also be applied in cases of the marital home being located in a real estate market that is soft, so that the divorcing couple can sell that marital home when the real estate market rises. Additionally, a deferred distribution requires by order of the court system for both the spouses to pay for mortgage payments, maintenance fees, home owners insurance and taxes.
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Another route that divorcing couples looking to sell their equity can take is that of the Mesher Order. The order results in one spouse deferring their payment of the equity until they are through with the providing for minor children when these minors come off age at 18. The disadvantage of the Mesher Order is that both parties remain on the mortgage thus making it difficult for the spouse who has moved out to mortgage another property. The solution to this is a more intricate yet complex form of the Mesher Order where the staying spouse gets the mortgage solely in their name but the spouse moving out has a crucial share of the percentage of its equity. This allows the spouse who is moving out to attain a second mortgage; referred to as a Deferred Charge Mesher.
Keeping both divorcing parties honest in getting the sale mark up of their marital home is done by court appointed real estate agent or surveyor who is instructed by both parties and takes into account both if their appraisals. The judicial system has much more leeway in the regard of a house that is labelled as a separate property. The legal obligations of the marriage include the court’s increased control by allowing it to make any orders about the property regardless of who owns it officially at the legal land registry. This is done to ensure that the other spouse who does not own the marital home can live and stay in it until the divorce is finalized. Also, the courts may intervene in order to apply a principle of fairness if the spouse who owns the property us getting too much from the dissolution thus aiming to make the equity distribution fair on the other spouse.
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Keeping the house is also inadvisable for the spouse that has custody of the children and cannot comfortably afford the mortgage without working so much that it is detrimental in raising children who are minors. Moreover, if the couple do not have the financial strength to afford the entirety of the repairs and maintenance they can seek to have a potential buyer cut in and help them. This is especially important because it not only provides financial help for the divorcing couple who are selling but also homeowners looking to buy the house at a lower price by offsetting it with pitching in so to say for the repairs and maintenance before the marital home can legally sold. Divorcing couples have the option of finding three types if buyers, those who cannot or will not take their maintenance and repair payments into account, those who will only take a percentage if it into account, and those who will be willing to take all of the maintenance and repair payments into account. Each type of buyer will decrease their offer depending on how much they take into account the costs of maintenance. The current trend in real estate is flat or downward making a new option open for divorcing sellers and hopeful buyers by allowing the option of renting the property. This ensures a steady payment of equity to both the divorcing parties as well as offsetting the lower cost they would have to sell at.
Lastly, there are several open ended ways to compensate each spouse while simultaneously catering to their right and needs. The outcome of these situations and their feasibility depends largely on the governing laws concerning divorce and equity distribution of a particular state thus should be consulted with the attorneys of both parties. An instance where the spouse having custody of the children wishes to stay in the marital home until they legally independent is to forego alimony payments as an off set for the temporary buy out equity. Additionally, spouses who are moving out can also have their name in the mortgage removed and maintaining a percentage through a Deferred Mesher for the reason that they do not want their credit scores affected for a future second mortgage should the spouse that is staying in the marital home fails to accurately make the mortgage payments. Also, divorcing couples can decide to let one spouse stay with children in the marital home until they come off age as long as that spouse maintains the weight of the maintenance payments. It is very crucial to note, however, that in certain states the governing laws on divorcee distribution may not allow these last three options. For example, some state laws may not give spouses any lee way on not paying alimony or substituting alimony payments for others.
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