Can My Spouse Sell Our House Before the Divorce is Finalized?

Can My Spouse Sell Our House Before the Divorce is Finalized?

Divorce creates two separate lives. With that separation comes the division of previously shared assets and responsibilities.

You may wish to keep certain property for yourself in the split, but unless you have previous safeguards in place, such as a prenuptial agreement, those assets must be equitably distributed in the divorce settlement.

Laws and limited exceptions dictate what a spouse can and cannot do with shared assets before a divorce is finalized. Schedule a consultation with a seasoned divorce attorney at Moskowitz Law Group today to discuss whether your spouse can sell your house before the divorce is finalized.

How Is Property Divided?

Many people’s primary concern when getting divorced is what will happen to marital property. Assets are divided in a divorce based on the concept of equitable distribution. Each party is entitled to equitable distribution of marital property, meaning both spouses receive a portion of marital assets that is “fair,” but not necessarily equal.

Determining a fair share may require substantial negotiation between the parties and their lawyers. The first concern will be whether the property is marital property or exempt property. Marital property can be divided in equitable distribution. Exempt property cannot be divided in equitable distribution. Marital property is classified as anything acquired by either party or both parties while they were legally married. This applies to real estate and other assets such as savings accounts, retirement assets, and business interests.

Exempt property includes assets like an inheritance or something acquired before the marriage or after the Complaint for Divorce has been filed. Someone may take the position that property is exempt for these reasons, but if the property was treated like marital property or commingled with marital property during the marriage, it an exception may be found and the property maybe divided between the spouses accordingly.

Can a Spouse Sell Marital Property Before a Divorce Is Finalized?

Under New Jersey law, both spouses are required to equitably divide their marital assets. However, divorces are messy, and things do not always go according to plan. Spouses may not be on the same page about who gets what in the divorce.

If two people cannot agree on the equitable distribution of their property, the Court will have to hold a trial and make the decision for the parties. Neither party can sell a marital asset, such as a shared home, without coming to an agreement to do so with the other spouse first.

Should either spouse sell or otherwise dispose of marital property without the other spouse’s consent, legal action can be taken against them. Such legal action can include a court order to put the proceeds of the sale into escrow. A claim can also be made for dissipation of marital property. A hardworking property division lawyer can represent their client in Court and fight for their rights throughout the divorce process.

Get Legal Support When Your Spouse Tries to Sell Your House Before The Divorce Is Finalized

If you believe your spouse is attempting to sell your house before your divorce is finalized, it is in your best interests to hire a knowledgeable divorce attorney to assist you. The legal team at Moskowitz Law Group can perform an analysis of all marital property and take the proper action in Court.

If your spouse is found to have sold marital property without your consent, you will not only be awarded a fair share of that property, but your spouse may be ordered to compensate you for your legal fees dealing with the issue. Connect with us to discuss your situation with a seasoned lawyer today.

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