Selling your house before a divorce

Do I need to Sell my house first, before I finalized and reach an agreement with my soon to be Ex?

The short answer is NO.

The house is one of the most valuable assets to divide in a divorce. Couples getting a divorce do not have to sell the home before reaching a divorce. However, what is most important is for you and your soon to be Ex to reach a comprehensive agreement as to what happens with the home post-divorce. If couples have equity, mortgages, joint titles, and taxes due to the town, an attorney to help with the complexities and intricacies of the real estate provision in the divorce agreement should be a must.

When you purchased the home, you needed an attorney for a reason. Banking laws make representation mandatory in a real estate transaction. It is a good idea not to divorce without an attorney's help if you have joint real estate. If you do not want to or need to spend the money on separate divorce attorneys, use a divorce mediator who is also an attorney.

Hiring a divorce mediator who is also an attorney is the way most couples do it.

A good agreement specifies:

  • how to sell the house
  • how the proceeds are divided
  • who holds the title while the property is listed
  • who pays the mortgage, taxes, insurance, roof repairs or the septic tank replacement,
  • you get the picture.

Divorce agreements also include language if one of the spouses:

  • defaults on the mortgage
  • slows down the sale process,
  • does not repair the roof leak,
  • stuff like sabotage of the sale.

Also, the agreements specify what happens:

  • if a spouse loses a job
  • if a spouse is sick or disabled
  • or worse; if a spouse dies before the sale
  • and what happens with the escrow refunds and with the tax benefits associated with the mortgage interest and taxes until the sale.

A good divorce agreement addresses every single possible contingency. Just simply waiting for the house to sell is not a good plan. Simply waiting for the house to sell is a “no plan” approach. A well-drafted agreement addresses all the contingencies. A divorce mediator who is also an attorney can help you craft a comprehensive agreement.

Contact CT Mediation Center at 860-986-1141 if you have questions about selling your house while going through a divorce.