Dividing matrimonial assets is usually a central part of a California divorce. The most valuable community possession is typically the marital home. Because of its value, parties may have conflict over how to divide this community asset. One option is for the couple to sell their property and divide the proceeds. Depending on your circumstances, this may be the best option during your California divorce. Here is more on selling your home during a California divorce.
Real Estate During a California Divorce
California is a community property state. This means that, outside of certain exceptions, what a couple acquires and earns during marriage, belongs to each person equally. Therefore, when a California couple buys a residence or other real estate while married, each partner has 50% ownership rights.
Generally, if one person owned real property coming into the marriage, that property would remain that partner’s separate property during divorce. Separate property is not ordinarily divisible during divorce. However, when a partner’s community funds are used to pay the mortgage or to make improvements on their ex’s separate property, that partner may be entitled to repayment for their community contribution.
If you and your ex own community or separate property, it’s essential that you work with an experienced California divorce attorney when assessing ownership and other equitable division issues.
Do I Have to Sell My Home During My California Divorce?
Some people believe they have no choice but to sell their home during a California divorce. However, that may not always be the case. Therefore, before putting your marital home on the market, you should consult with a California divorce attorney to determine whether doing so is the best option. You and your California divorce lawyer can discuss your situation and available alternatives for your home.
After reviewing the facts, you may want to keep the property and buy out your ex’s interest in the home. This will allow you to be awarded the residence while your former partner is paid money or compensated with other assets for their ownership interest.
Hire an Appraiser and Realtor
If you decide to sell your home, you and your ex should hire an appraiser to assess your property’s value accurately. By having a neutral party determine your home’s worth, you can avoid disagreement over how it should be priced for sale.
Once you know your home’s value, you and your ex should retain an experienced realtor who knows your area and understands the local housing market. Your realtor should be someone you both trust. If you don’t have a real estate agent, you can work with your California divorce attorney to locate someone who can help.
Expenses and Proceeds
While you and your ex are in the process of selling your home, it should be clearly established who will pay for expenses such as the mortgage, maintenance, and repairs. Generally, both parties are responsible for these costs. However, depending on the people involved and their unique circumstances, it may be that one person pays some or all of these expenses. In that situation, the paying party may be entitled to reimbursement for any added expenditures once the property sells. It should also be clear how the parties will divide the proceeds.
Contact a California Divorce Attorney
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced California divorce attorneys who can answer your questions about selling your home before, during, and after divorce and other essential matters. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website.