Going through a divorce is hard enough. And to add insult to emotionally charged injury, separating your assets may be less straightforward than you’d hoped. Even in California, a no-fault divorce state with community property laws, you may find yourself having to sell a home you wanted to keep. If you’re getting divorced in Sacramento, can a judge really order you to sell your property in a fast home sale? Here are some scenarios where you may end up selling your home during a divorce.
Presumption of Community Property
The first thing any attorney, mediator, or judge will consider when deciding who gets your Sacramento home during a divorce is the ownership. The first thing to know is that most homes acquired during a marriage are community property. In a straightforward case, the couple purchased the home with community property funds and are both people on the title. If any of these factors are untrue, however, the case can get complicated. Here are some times your marital home may not be automatically considered community property:
- If one spouse inherited the property, then it was not obtained using community property funds. This could make the home the sole property of the person who inherited it.
- When only one spouse is on the title, it often creates the presumption that the home is separate property. This is true even when the house is purchased during the marriage.
In most cases, your marital home will be considered community property. This makes it an asset that needs to be divided during your separation. And, yes, it makes it possible that a judge could order you to sell your Sacramento home during a divorce so the asset can be liquidated.
Pre-Judgement Processes for Dividing Assets
Just because your home is community property doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have to sell it, however. There are some workarounds that couples often use to avoid a court-ordered fast home sale. Here are some ways you can take your home into your own hands as a couple before it comes to a court settlement.
- One spouse may buy out the other’s interest in the property. If you decide on a fair value for the home in mediation, one partner can buy out the other and keep the home.
- You can defer the sale. If you have small children still in the home, a common solution is to agree (in writing) to defer the sale for a certain number of years. You’ll both retain your interests in the home until the sale date.
- The couple can sell the home on their own terms and split the earnings. Before a judge gets involved, you can work together to sell the home for a fair price and then share the profits in an agreed upon fashion.
It’s always easier to handle a home sale before a judge gets involved. If you can work it out pre-judgement: do it! Unfortunately, sometimes a trial judgement is required. Read on to learn about when a judge may require you to do a fast home sale during your divorce.
Trial Judgement and Home Sale
The objective of a divorce court is to make sure the result is fair to both parties. When the most significant asset in your marriage is the property, it naturally becomes a central part of the judgement. What does that process look like? The court will order the couple to sell their home and split the assets, defining who will pay which fees associated with the sale (realtor and attorney’s fees, etc.) and how the profits will be split. A judge may order a fast home sale of your property when:
- Neither partner can afford to buy out the other partner’s interest in the home. Sometimes there isn’t a way to buy out your spouse’s stake. Unless you want to empty your 401k to take complete ownership, a judge may decide selling your home is the only way to divide the community property.
- When foreclosure is lurking, a judge may order an immediate sale. This makes it more likely the couple will avoid losing their financial interest in the property to the bank.
- If you and your soon-to-be ex simply can’t agree on fair terms for the home, the judge could intervene. When the property is the last remaining sticking point in the divorce, a court-ordered sale may become the only realistic outcome.
Has a judge ordered you to sell your Sacramento home fast? If you need to get rid of your property so you can finalize your divorce, California Family Homebuyers is here to help! We are a family-owned business that can buy your property for cash with fast home sale. No Realtor fees, listing costs, or stressful open houses. We just buy your home so you’re in compliance with the court and then you’re free to move on!
Give California Family Homebuyers a call 916-496-3737 today to learn more about selling your Sacramento home for cash.