Implications of Going to Court While Selling a Divorced Home

Monday, April 2, 2018   /   by Robert Woessner

Implications of Going to Court While Selling a Divorced Home

Most divorcees look forward to settling the property out of the courtroom as much as possible, due to the severe implications that come with court. Under some circumstances, a trial might be inevitable.


You must know how to prepare yourself and how to deal with it effectively, in order to make smart and informed decisions.


A trial is necessary under circumstances when you and your divorcing spouse cannot agree on issues. The most disputed issues during divorces are concerned with the split of the material assets or the custody of children.


Pension funds and investment accounts can also be major bones of contention, especially when they are worth a good amount. However, in most cases, the principal issue that crops up in between them is the marital home.


The most common mistakes done in this regard can lead to very expensive mishaps. Once the case goes to the court, the decision is out of control of both parties and this is the cause for the real risk.


Though court decisions can be appealed, it would invariably involve a huge amount of money and time during the process. If you are the weaker party, there are chances that the court proceedings can benefit you. The judge can legally order your ex-spouse to do things which he or she might not be prepared to do at all.


Also, the court has the power to force the parties to divulge the information which they might otherwise prefer to withhold, including those of the values of pension funds and stock portfolios. Therefore, under some typical scenarios going to court can let you achieve a level playing game.


It is clearly understood that even under the best conditions, the divorce will take many months if not years. This time is indefinitely extended if you have to go to the court.


Usually we can expect a court proceeding to issue the ruling within a year of filing the petition, or it might even drag on longer. The point is that you are most likely to make multiple appearances in the court even before the trial.


The attorneys involved in the process on both of your behalf’s might demand relevant information from the other side, creating a bad situation. This might kill more time both inside and out of the courtroom.


While the trials are awaited, the court needs to decide on who the children will stay with, who will live in the house and who has to make the payments.


Whenever a crucial issue is not resolved and a new one arises, it becomes necessary to schedule yet another appearance. Under circumstances when the attorneys need more time to prepare, they can request for continuous adjournments which shall delay the proceedings more.


Such experiences can keep your life on hold and will have other implications, like missing work.


The other trouble with waiting is the difficulty of buying a new home, or refinancing the old one until the divorce is finally approved.


Since there are too many issues to be resolved, the money lenders will have no real basis to assess your ability to repay the loan.


Every attorney would expect the fees to be paid for every appearance, in addition to the time they spend on consulting, researching, communicating and preparing the motions.


They will also charge for waiting to be called into trial, making witnesses appear and for every tiny task associated with the trial. You need to decide therefore whether the outcome will justify the time effort, money and anxiety you are forced to incur during the process.


It is also necessary to understand the possible setbacks awaiting you in the process.


None can anticipate what the judge will have to say. The obvious conclusion is that no trial sees both the parties walking out of the court happy.


Most trials get delayed because the facts and information presented are not precise and satisfactory. Since this could be the primary reason for the cases to drag, it is important to see that your side gets them right the first time.


The court decision regarding the home can be often overwhelming. Court decisions in your home can have a severe impact on the rest of your life and the lives of your children. However, you have chances to shape the outcome through an agreement. 


This could mean the selling of the property. The court will always give room to accommodate such developments. If one of the parties is violating the stipulation, the court can intervene to order the carrying out the agreement.


Usually, unless there are some compelling reasons like imminent foreclosure, the court shall not order for the sale of the home. During the initial phases, the divorcing parties have enough time to work on the idea of selling their house, usually only if they can cooperate with the other.


In case the court needs to divide the property, then it might direct one party to live in it, while the other pays the equity within a certain date.


Often the court rulings can also turn unworkable. For instance, if the court orders the sale of the home and divides the proceeds among the parties, the home might not sell for the value intended, then one of the spouses might need to refinance the property and buy out the other party.


The problem worsens if the concerned party cannot qualify for a loan. Since courts are not involved with market realities, often the judgments might not be feasible to implement. If your future is solely dependent on the property, then such situations might lead to chaotic outcomes.


Beforehand it is important to get a property estimate and get the loan preapproved. Though it provides remedies majority of the times, know that often the court system can severely drain your money, time and life.


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The source of this real property information is the copyrighted and proprietary database compilation of the Southwest Florida MLS organizations Copyright 2022. Southwest Florida MLS organizations. All rights reserved. The accuracy of this information is not warranted or guaranteed. This information should be independently verified if any person intends to engage in a transaction in reliance upon it. The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification.
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