Selling a House During a Divorce in California: How Does it Work?

DivorceDivorce Attorneys on its own carries enough stress and complications as-is! Add the sale of a home to the mix, and things can quickly become overwhelming. As you look to sell your home and divide the equity during your pending divorce, a plethora of questions and concerns are sure to pop up. This is why we at the R & S Law Group, LLP decided to write up this quick guide that can provide answers to some of those questions.

If you’re looking for more involved guidance, know that you can always reach out to us directly at the R & S Law Group, LLP. For the time being, here are some pointers to keep in mind as you look to sell the family home and divide other community assets while your divorce is still pending.

Determine Ownership of the Home

All property that is acquired during the length of a marriage is automatically considered community property in California, which includes homes. If your home was purchased after you got married, this generally lends itself to a very straightforward 50/50 equity split between both parties.

However, if the title is under one person’s name, or if the home was acquired before the marriage took place, the home could be considered separate property that belongs solely to one spouse. This isn’t always so clear-cut, as financial contributions such as mortgage payments could help the other spouse establish an “interest” in the house.

Thus, the first step to selling a home is to establish who holds ownership of the property as this informs the courts how to proceed with the division of equity.

Choose Between Buying Out or Selling

When you and your ex-spouse both want to sell, there isn’t much to do other than to find a buyer and divide the assets evenly. However, an individual who wishes to retain ownership of the home after the divorce has the option to “buy out” the other spouse. The “buy out” process is more complicated than people expect, as the value of the property needs to be appraised. Furthermore, individual “shares” can be influenced by factors such as potential tax implications and separate/joint contributions that were made during the marriage itself.

Regardless of the route you choose to take, you are going to want to hire a realtor to do the actual “heavy lifting.” You’ll want an impartial, trusted professional so be sure to do your research, and remember that a family law attorney can also help steer you towards a reputable realtor.

Talk to an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Orange County

Selling a home during a pending divorce can be a simple, straightforward process, or it could prove to be a costly dispute that takes months to resolve. This is ultimately dependent on the specific factors of your case, which is why it is so important that you retain the assistance of a trained legal professional.

Call the R & S Law Group, LLP today to speak with an experienced California family law attorney. We offer free initial consultations, so do not hesitate to reach out to us at your earliest convenience.