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Should you sell your house before or after the divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2021 | Property Division

The separation of one household into two carries significant challenges including crafting parenting time, the determination of support and dividing property. Asset and debt division plays a huge role in the divorce process for most couples. Not only must couples arrive at a compromise for the division of real property, digital assets and retirement funds, they must negotiate the split of expensive assets that could hold sentimental valuable – namely, the marital home.

While many couples ultimately decide to sell the home and split the profits, there is some discussion around the timing of the real estate transaction. The main choice boils down to selling the family home before the divorce starts or after the process is finalized.

Selling before the divorce

  • Pros: Couples who sell the house before the divorce have one less complex factor to include in the asset division negotiations. The house is sold, the remaining mortgage is paid and any additional profits are split. The divorcing couple can make a clean break in this situation since they have removed a significant piece of the asset division equation.
  • Cons: Couples who choose to sell before the divorce often feel rushed by the process. Perhaps they didn’t stage the property well or took the first offer that came along to quickly move on. Selling a home often requires patience – something a divorcing couple might not have.

Selling after the divorce

  • Pros: With much of the stress of the divorce process eliminated, the couple can focus on selling the house. From proper staging to marketing efforts, the couple can put energy into making the largest profit possible. Additionally, depending on the timing itself, many realtors agree that there are certain times of the year when people find it more beneficial to sell a property.
  • Cons: Real estate is a volatile, unpredictable market. Waiting to sell could mean losing out on thousands of dollars. Couples run the risk of failing to maximize their profit margin if they hold off on listing the property. Additionally, asset division is a huge part of the divorce process. It takes all these factors into consideration when determining the divorcing couple’s overall financial picture. Waiting to sell the home can delay other factors.

Divorcing couples often face challenges in asset division. Whether they are dividing physical assets, digital properties or intangible finances, the process might require numerous negotiations and compromises. Selling a house before or after the divorce relies on several factors which must be carefully examined.

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