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Selling the house after divorce

The marital home is one of the biggest assets of many Texas couples. In the event of a divorce, the value of the home is part of the marital estate that must be divided equitably between the parties. If one spouse wants to keep the home, the other spouse must receive his or her equity in the home in the form of other assets, which can create complicated issues of asset valuation. Accordingly, often the easiest way to address asset division with respect to the home is to sell the property, with each spouse receiving a fair share of the proceeds.

Because property division in divorce so often involves selling the marital residence, divorcing couples make up a large share of the real estate market. To address the special needs and issues of these couples, some real estate agents have developed a niche as divorce specialists. Although unable to provide legal advice, these agents have specialized knowledge regarding the legal and tax issues that may arise in selling real estate during or following a divorce.

A real estate divorce specialist may have tips for a divorcing couple like how to maximize the tax breaks on any capital gains that result from the sale of the home. The agent may help manage appearances with respect to potential buyers who may otherwise get the impression that the divorcing couple is desperate to sell. Also, the agent may act as an intermediary between the parties on matters involving sale of the home when the relationship is particularly strained.

Property division can be one of the most challenging issues in a divorce, particularly with respect to the marital home. If you are considering divorce, a knowledgeable divorce attorney may be able to advise as to your options with respect to the home. If the home will be sold as part of the divorce settlement, your attorney may provide a referral to a real estate divorce specialist.

Source: The New York Times, "After the Breakup, They Help Sell the House," Elizabeth A. Harris, April 1, 2013

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