Upon the breakdown of a marriage there are typically many assets and debts that need to be divided. Usually, the Family Home is the biggest asset to take into account. There are many ways to deal with dividing the Family Home, will one party continue to live there and buy the other out, will both parties remain in the Family Home, will both parties purchase new properties and sell the joint home? These are all questions you will need to consider during your divorce proceedings.
Purchasing a New Home During a Divorce
If you are planning to sell the Family Home it is imperative that you advise your legal counsel of same as soon as you make this decision. Your counsel can assist in communicating with your spouses counsel and your real estate agent to ensure the funds are dealt with properly. Far too often we have clients advise that they will be selling their home in 2 weeks time – which leaves very little opportunity to deal with ensuring both parties understand the implications of same and reaching an agreement on how the funds will be dealt with until a final agreement is signed.
What Happens to the Sale Proceeds of Your Current Home?
If you do sell the Family Home during the divorce proceedings the money from the sale of the home will be taken into account during the final settlement. Often, your lawyer, or your spouse’s lawyer will hold the money in an interest-bearing account until a written agreement is signed. Counsel will jointly write to your real estate agent advising of same to ensure the sale proceeds are not released prior to written consent from both parties’ counsel. This ensures the funds are held in a safe and secure manner and can be accounted for upon division of the overall property settlement. This also allows parties and their counsel to account for any exemption claims or equalization payments that need to be made pursuant to an agreement or Court Order.
What if One Party Wants to Sell and the Other Does Not?
The Family Home can have a lot of sentimental value as well as monetary. It is understandable that some parties will have an emotional attachment to the home and want to continue to reside there. If one party wishes to keep the home, they can do so by buying out the other party. However, sometimes this is not possible due to financial resources and going from a two-income household down to one. If one party wants to keep the home but is unable to afford same but not willing to sell, you can attend court with a Partition and Sale Application which will allow a Justice to order the house to be sold within X amount of days and within a certain price range.