Whether you have been married for decades or just a few years, if you and your spouse have decided to split, you will no doubt be experiencing stress soon. Even if the decision to move on in life without each other was mutual, there are more decisions to make and differences to resolve to achieve a fair settlement, especially if you have kids. One question you must answer is whether to sell your marital home before you divorce.
Your initial thought might be that you’d rather just have one less thing to deal with, so you’ll just let the house be and let the judge determine how to divide its value. At some point, however, you’ll have to agree to sell the house or have one of you keep living in it. There are several reasons why many people decide, instead, to put their house on the market before they divorce.
Issues that might compel you to sell your house before divorce
The following list includes numerous reasons why selling your marital home before you divorce might be a good idea:
- Neither spouse will have to “buy the other one out.”
- You will have your mortgage paid off (if it isn’t already).
- You’ll have money available to help you secure a new residence.
- You won’t have to work with your ex later to sell the house.
Selling your house ahead of your divorce may also help you find closure. Many people say it enables them to emotionally detach from the home they shared during marriage so that all eyes are on the future as they begin a new lifestyle.
Legal issues that are relevant to the topic
You and your spouse must be legally married to sell your house before divorce. In other words, if you’re going to do it, do it before you have legally separated. The money you make on the sale is a marital asset, subject to property division proceedings in your divorce. Finally, you and your spouse must agree to sell the home. If one of you is against it, the only way to sell it is to ask a judge to compel the sale, which would be part of divorce proceedings.
Selling a home before a divorce can be a way to minimize stress, come to terms with the situation and begin preparing for a new life ahead. If legal complications arise, it’s always best to know where to seek additional support rather than try to resolve a complex problem on your own.