Divorce and selling a home

| Jan 3, 2018 | Property Division |

New Jersey couples who are getting a divorce might need to sell their home. This happens in almost two-thirds of divorce cases. It is not always possible for one spouse to buy out the other. There are several things couples can do to make this process go more smoothly despite the emotional difficulties that accompany it.

First, they should talk to an agent about responsibilities and goals. Following this initial discussion, it is better to appoint one spouse to communicate with the agent and back to the other spouse. The couple should also avoid involving the agent in any personal conflict.

Couples should think about what they want to fix. Small things that can make a big impact for people viewing the home should be repaired and other items should be noted “as is” if the couple does not plan to fix them. They should reach an agreement on how they will pay for these matters. They may also want to share other costs such as having someone come in to clean the house regularly. Realtors advise that someone should be appointed to take care of the pets and remove them from the home when the house is being shown. When in doubt, couples should listen to the agent’s advice.

Selling a home may be only one of several financially complex aspects of dividing assets. For example, dividing a retirement account may not be as simple as each spouse taking a share of the account. With certain types of accounts, such as 401(k)s, the couple will need a document known as a qualified domestic relations order to avoid taxes and penalties when they divide the account. An experienced family law attorney can be of assistance in preparing the QDRO.



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