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Selling Your Home Amidst a Divorce

Curiale Hostnik PLLC  May 31, 2023

Navigating a divorce can be an overwhelming experience. The emotional strain on top of the need to make crucial decisions can leave you feeling stressed and uncertain about the best course of action. One of the major challenges in this process is dividing your assets, with the marital home often being the most significant shared investment. 

When faced with the question, “Should we sell the house when we divorce?” there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Every situation is unique, and it’s crucial to seek guidance from a divorce lawyer who can evaluate your case and lay out the pros and cons. They can also explore alternative options for dividing the marital home that align with your specific circumstances. For legal help in the Tacoma, Washington, area or anywhere throughout Pierce County, call us at Curiale Hostnik PLLC. 

Options for Dividing the Marital Home

While other assets like money, stock, or other valuables may be easier to split up and divide, the marital home often presents complications. In general, you have three main options:  

  1. Co-own: Whether or not you choose to continue living together, you may decide it’s in your best interest to keep the house under both names either temporarily or for the foreseeable future. 

  1. Buyout: One common solution is for one spouse to stay living in the house and pay the other for half its value. This typically requires having an appraisal done, then using the estimated profits to determine how much is owed. 

  1. Sell the house: Lastly, you may choose to sell the house and have both spouses split the proceeds and find new places to live.  

Each option carries its own set of considerations and implications, and seeking professional guidance can help you make the best decision that aligns with your unique goals and interests. 

Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home During Divorce

Pros of selling 

  • Fresh start: After a divorce, it’s common to want to start a new chapter without any of the baggage of your previous relationship. This is especially true if you’re going through a contentious divorce and the marital home serves as a physical representation of the hard times. Selling the marital home can provide a sense of closure and a fresh start. Starting a new chapter without the physical reminder of past difficulties can be emotionally liberating, allowing both parties to move forward with their lives. 

  • Financial control: A clean sale of the house ensures that both parties can maximize their financial gains. By selling the property, the proceeds can be divided, providing each spouse with a share of the profits. This financial control allows for greater flexibility and more opportunities for securing new living arrangements or investments. 

Cons of selling

  • More complexity: If your divorce isn’t amicable, selling the house may add another layer of complications and stress. Dealing with the emotional and legal aspects of the divorce while simultaneously navigating the selling process can be a lot to juggle, and may prolong the divorce proceedings.  

  • Financial considerations: Depending on the equity you’ve built up and your other options for living accommodation, selling the house may not be in your best interests. It’s important to assess the current housing market and weigh the long-term financial implications before deciding to sell.   

  • Impact on children: Selling the family home can be particularly challenging when children are involved. Before uprooting your children from a familiar environment and transitioning to two new homes, consider the potential impacts on them and explore alternative solutions that prioritize their well-being and stability.  

While these points outline some of the potential pros and cons of selling the marital home during a divorce, it is crucial to seek professional advice from a divorce lawyer or financial advisor who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation. Their insight can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your financial, emotional, and familial needs. If you’re ready to speak with an attorney, contact our firm today and set up a consultation

How to Sell a House During Divorce – What Steps to Take

Selling a house during a divorce requires careful navigation and collaboration between both spouses. From choosing a trusted agent to dividing the proceeds, following the necessary steps can help facilitate a successful sale. 

  1. Choose an agent: This should be someone both spouses trust who can represent your interests and prioritize your needs. 

  1. Prepare the home: Ideally, the home is empty when it’s listed and being shown, but this isn’t always possible. This will likely entail minor repairs and renovations. 

  1. List the home and review offers: Try to get on the same page with your spouse about what sale price you’d be comfortable with and what provisions you’re willing to make when negotiating with the buyer. 

  1. Divide the proceeds: This step can often be done by the escrow company. However, if there are any additional considerations (for example, one party needs to be reimbursed for money spent on a new roof), this should all be put in writing.   

  1. Consider working with an attorney: While it’s not necessary for everyone to consult with a lawyer during this time, having a legal expert on your side can help ensure your bases are covered and your best interests are represented.  

For Comprehensive Legal Support, Contact Curiale Hostnik PLLC

If you’re in the Tacoma, Washington, region and are considering selling your house during your divorce, reach out to us at Curiale Hostnik PLLC. Our attorneys are well-versed in both real estate and family law, offering a comprehensive approach to help you navigate this complex process with utmost care. We’ll advocate for your best interests every step of the way.