Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

My husband and I are divorcing. He is keeping our primary residence, which is paid off, and I am buying another home with my share of our joint assets.

My question is could the wise folks here share opinions on whether it is better to buy the second home now while we are still married or should we wait till all the paperwork is filed. What things should I consider if we do buy now jointly vs. waiting? What are the unforeseen risks or co-ownership? Credit impacts, etc?

We are agreeable and still friends and could draft up the proper agreements and handle the accounting to make either option work. Just seems like an easy option to do it in our current status.

Thank you for any feedback.
Last edited by rippinkittin on Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Chris K Jones
Posts: 393
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:54 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by Chris K Jones »

I would suggest running this past your attorney. If you don't have one, you probably should get one :) Best wishes.
rascott
Posts: 2699
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rascott »

Are you paying cash for the new home with the assets? Or getting a mortgage?

I don't know why you'd buy a home jointly with someone you are about to be divorced from. Seems like unnecessary paperwork, but we don't have the whole picture.

Agree, seems like a question for the lawyer.
tibbitts
Posts: 14329
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by tibbitts »

I don't understand legal separation taking months, and don't understand why you'd buy a house that wasn't in your name only. Lots of people do that even when they're married. I have some experience with a similar situation and you seem to be making this much more complicated than it has to be.
manuvns
Posts: 995
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:30 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by manuvns »

I think you should buy a house the moment you know you want to own it because it's harded to buy real estate now . so start you purchase process now .
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2781
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by galawdawg »

rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:30 am My husband and I are divorcing. He is keeping our primary residence, which is paid off, and I am buying another home with my share of our joint assets.

My question is could the wise folks here share opinions on whether it is better to buy the second home now while we are still married or should we wait till all the paperwork is filed. What things should I consider if we do buy now jointly vs. waiting? What are the unforeseen risks or co-ownership? Credit impacts, etc?

We are agreeable and still friends and could draft up the proper agreements and handle the accounting to make either option work. Just seems like an easy option to do it in our current status.

We are trying to establish our own spaces rather quickly that is why the option of doing so while still married is even being considered. The legal separation is going to still take a few months.

Thank you for any feedback.
Do I understand correctly that you are getting divorced but will be buying another home jointly with your soon to be ex-husband??

Does your attorney know this?
BarbBrooklyn
Posts: 996
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:33 am
Location: NYC

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

How do you know what your share of the joint assets will be if you are not even legally separated?

If you enter into a RE transaction now, won't that become part of your marital property?

Do you have a divorce attorney? Getting a good one was the best money I ever spent.

Rent an apartment for now.
Last edited by BarbBrooklyn on Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."
sureshoe
Posts: 396
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:26 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by sureshoe »

Anything can be done, right? I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know your state, so I can't give specific advice.

My general opinion would be to wait and keep the divorce as simple as possible. I'm assuming you each have a lawyer doing paperwork on the divorce, so it could be added in - but you're adding the potential for the title to get bogged down or have questions.

If this isn't contentious and there isn't a reason to believe he's going to drag his feet or cause problems, sure. My opinion (again, uninformed opinion) is that you just never know. What if a boyfriend/girlfriend comes to light or an argument or something. Then, you're half a foot into a major purchase. Maybe you just lose earnest money. Maybe the whole thing melts down.

Anyway, you know your situation best. Personally, I'd avoid it. If I ever got divorced, I'd rent for a while. The house we just bought was from a divorcing couple and they were both getting an apartment. One of our friends are divorcing. They just sold their house. The guy bought a 5 bedroom house and the woman is renting a condo. I think she's the smarter of the 2. Just me.
sureshoe
Posts: 396
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:26 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by sureshoe »

Duplicate
Last edited by sureshoe on Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

Chris K Jones wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:39 am I would suggest running this past your attorney. If you don't have one, you probably should get one :) Best wishes.
We are using an 3rd party arbitrator, no lawyers.
User avatar
LilyFleur
Posts: 1983
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by LilyFleur »

This happened in my divorce--we both bought our own houses during the separation, and our attorneys had us sign quit-claim deeds to the other person's property.

I'm assuming the other party is buying half of the family home from you, or you have some sort of fair way of dividing up the marital assets, and the home you are buying will be your own separate property.

Divorce law is rather complicated. I would not feel comfortable without at least having an attorney review drafts of the divorce decree.

For you to have to buy a house right now I don't think is really fair, financially. You'll likely pay far too much while your ex does not have to move or get into a bidding war. I think renting during this time would be advantageous. It will give you time to regroup and lessen the pressure to buy something that is overpriced or maybe not the right house for you. Being able to walk away from a house purchase is a big advantage.
Last edited by LilyFleur on Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

manuvns wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:45 am I think you should buy a house the moment you know you want to own it because it's harded to buy real estate now . so start you purchase process now .
This is it. The RE market is tight. I don't want to wait and want to have the option to buy now if I choose.

We live in a community property state where all of the marital assets are jointly owned so they must be jointly split in the event of a divorce.

I'm asking for opinions, not judgments. Thanks.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

LilyFleur wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:52 am This happened in my divorce--we both bought our own houses during the separation, and our attorneys had us sign quit-claim deeds to the other person's property.

I'm assuming the other party is buying half of the family home from you, or you have some sort of fair way of dividing up the marital assets, and the home you are buying will be your own separate property.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Were you in a community property state?

Yes, we have a decent pool of assets are have already agreed how they will be split.

The only item of complexity, besides housing, is the the inclusion of a state pension as we are awaiting valuations and drafting of the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) as it relates to that asset.
User avatar
LilyFleur
Posts: 1983
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by LilyFleur »

rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:55 am
LilyFleur wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:52 am This happened in my divorce--we both bought our own houses during the separation, and our attorneys had us sign quit-claim deeds to the other person's property.

I'm assuming the other party is buying half of the family home from you, or you have some sort of fair way of dividing up the marital assets, and the home you are buying will be your own separate property.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Were you in a community property state?

Yes, we have a decent pool of assets are have already agreed how they will be split.

The only item of complexity, besides housing, is the the inclusion of a state pension as we are awaiting valuations and drafting of the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) as it relates to that asset.
Yes, I am in a community property state. My QDRO was not done by my divorce attorney. It was done by an attorney specializing in QDROs as are most QDROSs in my county. It's tricky, and I had to research on my own and make sure she did it correctly because there were some unusual aspects in my QDRO. I would be very careful about the QDRO and have it reviewed by a knowledgeable attorney, and please make sure you are on top of all the details.
User avatar
Mlm
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:00 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by Mlm »

I was in this exact situation. Your legal separation should not take months if you agree on the split of assets. We wrote up the division and each had a lawyer review for any gotcha's. I moved to a temporary apartment and assets were split within weeks. I signed the deed over to him and he transferred cash to me. Then I began my house hunt. Six months later I found the perfect place and went in with an all cash offer.

It's in your best interest not to comingle any assets and liabilities at this point.
THY4373
Posts: 1477
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by THY4373 »

I was in your shoes with my ex taking the house while I had to move out. Also in my state it was important to move out because you had to be separated for 12 months before you could file for divorce if you had a child (which we did). The state heavily leaned on living in separate places in order to start the separation countdown clock. It was possible to live to together and be separated but it required a bunch of witnesses and the like and it was more hassle. Like your situation me and my ex did and do get along just fine. I ended up renting a single family home and don't regret it one bit. It was a lot simpler than trying buy a place in the middle of a divorce.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

Mlm wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:06 pm I was in this exact situation. Your legal separation should not take months if you agree on the split of assets. We wrote up the division and each had a lawyer review for any gotcha's. I moved to a temporary apartment and assets were split within weeks. I signed the deed over to him and he transferred cash to me. Then I began my house hunt. Six months later I found the perfect place and went in with an all cash offer.

It's in your best interest not to comingle any assets and liabilities at this point.
Congratulations on your success.

Can I ask what format you used to write up the asset division in order for it to go through a high level legal review?
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

THY4373 wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:16 pm I was in your shoes with my ex taking the house while I had to move out. Also in my state it was important to move out because you had to be separated for 12 months before you could file for divorce if you had a child (which we did). The state heavily leaned on living in separate places in order to start the separation countdown clock. It was possible to live to together and be separated but it required a bunch of witnesses and the like and it was more hassle. Like your situation me and my ex did and do get along just fine. I ended up renting a single family home and don't regret it one bit. It was a lot simpler than trying buy a place in the middle of a divorce.
I'm glad it worked out for you.

Did you keep track of your expenses during that 12 month timeframe and split 55-50? Share accounts? Thank you.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

Mlm wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:06 pm I was in this exact situation. Your legal separation should not take months if you agree on the split of assets. We wrote up the division and each had a lawyer review for any gotcha's. I moved to a temporary apartment and assets were split within weeks. I signed the deed over to him and he transferred cash to me. Then I began my house hunt. Six months later I found the perfect place and went in with an all cash offer.

It's in your best interest not to comingle any assets and liabilities at this point.
Thank you for sharing. I'm trying to skip the 'get a temporary apartment' step since i have children, know where I want to live, and have seen houses that check all the boxes.
User avatar
Mlm
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:00 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by Mlm »

rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:18 pm
Mlm wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:06 pm I was in this exact situation. Your legal separation should not take months if you agree on the split of assets. We wrote up the division and each had a lawyer review for any gotcha's. I moved to a temporary apartment and assets were split within weeks. I signed the deed over to him and he transferred cash to me. Then I began my house hunt. Six months later I found the perfect place and went in with an all cash offer.

It's in your best interest not to comingle any assets and liabilities at this point.
Congratulations on your success.

Can I ask what format you used to write up the asset division in order for it to go through a high level legal review?
Nothing special. We just listed all the assets and how we wanted them split. We agreed to each keep our own pensions. Handed it over to our lawyers and after some suggestions they drafted the formal agreement which we signed. We spent a very minimal amount for the legal services.
THY4373
Posts: 1477
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by THY4373 »

rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:19 pm Did you keep track of your expenses during that 12 month timeframe and split 55-50? Share accounts? Thank you.
I did track expenses for building out my new household. So say if ex was keeping the kitchen dishes and I had to buy new ones I was effectively reimbursed from the martial assets pre-split. When I moved out I paid my rent and she paid the mortgage they were actually in the same ballpark so we did not account for that along with other household operational costs e.g., I covered my electric, she covered hers (this was all largely post separation agreement though so by that point we were operating financially separate households effectively). Put another way the majority of the 12 months were post the separation agreement (I think I moved in early July and our separation agreement documenting the financial split occurred in August). In fact we didn't officially divorce until about 16 months later so ex could ride out the last few months of the last year on my much cheaper health insurance (we made sure to be divorced by end of year for tax purposes).
rooms222
Posts: 643
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rooms222 »

tibbitts wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:42 am I don't understand legal separation taking months, and don't understand why you'd buy a house that wasn't in your name only. Lots of people do that even when they're married. I have some experience with a similar situation and you seem to be making this much more complicated than it has to be.


For divorce, Arkansas has an 18 month separation period before divorce, and Maryland and North Carolina have 12 month separation periods. Arizona and Louisiana have optional covenant marriages where both parties agree to a longer separation period and impediments to a divorce. California, Michigan, and Massachusetts have six month waiting periods after divorce is filed (sometimes only when minor children are involved).

https://www.3stepdivorce.com/separation ... orce.shtml
https://www.divorcewriter.com/how-long- ... vorce-take

Just to point out that things like insurance, auto accidents, and marriage/divorce law are very state-specific, and it helps to list the state in the initial post.
tibbitts
Posts: 14329
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by tibbitts »

rooms222 wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:12 pm
tibbitts wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:42 am I don't understand legal separation taking months, and don't understand why you'd buy a house that wasn't in your name only. Lots of people do that even when they're married. I have some experience with a similar situation and you seem to be making this much more complicated than it has to be.


For divorce, Arkansas has an 18 month separation period before divorce, and Maryland and North Carolina have 12 month separation periods. Arizona and Louisiana have optional covenant marriages where both parties agree to a longer separation period and impediments to a divorce. California, Michigan, and Massachusetts have six month waiting periods after divorce is filed (sometimes only when minor children are involved).

https://www.3stepdivorce.com/separation ... orce.shtml
https://www.divorcewriter.com/how-long- ... vorce-take

Just to point out that things like insurance, auto accidents, and marriage/divorce law are very state-specific, and it helps to list the state in the initial post.
I interpreted "The legal separation is going to still take a few months" as meaning it would take months to start the separation, and probably misinterpreted.
rockstar
Posts: 1907
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rockstar »

I'd run it by your attorney.

I'd also look out for: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefflander ... 5e115d3ec0
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2781
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by galawdawg »

Forgive my directness but even contemplating acquiring additional jointly owned real estate while on the cusp of dividing the same in a divorce is short-sighted and very unwise. There may be many significant unintended consequences. You need to consult an attorney.
mhalley
Posts: 9011
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by mhalley »

IANAL. I would do it only if you got a quitclaim deed or other formal agreement signed that the new RE will be solely yours and not part of the joint assets. But I wouldn’t buy it jointly, only in your name. If you buy it jointly then you will have to get the deed changed to your name, probably costing more lawyer fees.
Lee_WSP
Posts: 5376
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:15 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by Lee_WSP »

Wait. I am not your lawyer, but I’d be shocked if your lawyer said differently.
4runner818
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:11 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by 4runner818 »

This is not really on topic - but have you been married 10 years or longer? If that’s the case then you can still get spousal/survivor social security benefits even after divorce. I only mention this because I heard on a financial podcast where some couples get divorced at the 9 year, 9.5 year, 9.99 year mark, etc, and give up those benefits unknowingly. Apparently some divorce lawyers are unaware of this SS rule.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

rooms222 wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:12 pm
tibbitts wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:42 am I don't understand legal separation taking months, and don't understand why you'd buy a house that wasn't in your name only. Lots of people do that even when they're married. I have some experience with a similar situation and you seem to be making this much more complicated than it has to be.


For divorce, Arkansas has an 18 month separation period before divorce, and Maryland and North Carolina have 12 month separation periods. Arizona and Louisiana have optional covenant marriages where both parties agree to a longer separation period and impediments to a divorce. California, Michigan, and Massachusetts have six month waiting periods after divorce is filed (sometimes only when minor children are involved).

https://www.3stepdivorce.com/separation ... orce.shtml
https://www.divorcewriter.com/how-long- ... vorce-take

Just to point out that things like insurance, auto accidents, and marriage/divorce law are very state-specific, and it helps to list the state in the initial post.
Nevada
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

4runner818 wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:23 pm This is not really on topic - but have you been married 10 years or longer? If that’s the case then you can still get spousal/survivor social security benefits even after divorce. I only mention this because I heard on a financial podcast where some couples get divorced at the 9 year, 9.5 year, 9.99 year mark, etc, and give up those benefits unknowingly. Apparently some divorce lawyers are unaware of this SS rule.

Yes, 17 years.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

galawdawg wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:02 pm Forgive my directness but even contemplating acquiring additional jointly owned real estate while on the cusp of dividing the same in a divorce is short-sighted and very unwise. There may be many significant unintended consequences. You need to consult an attorney.
Appreciate your feedback. What are the unintended consequences if we have a quit claim deed?
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2781
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by galawdawg »

rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:30 pm
galawdawg wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:02 pm Forgive my directness but even contemplating acquiring additional jointly owned real estate while on the cusp of dividing the same in a divorce is short-sighted and very unwise. There may be many significant unintended consequences. You need to consult an attorney.
Appreciate your feedback. What are the unintended consequences if we have a quit claim deed?
I'll just mention a few that immediately come to mind, there are others that are less likely and some that may be completely dependent upon the laws of your state (and I am only admitted in Georgia):

1. If you purchase this house before your divorce is finalized and the order filed, it is an asset acquired during the marriage and must be divided or distributed during the divorce proceedings.

2. If you obtain a mortgage to acquire the property and your husband is a co-borrower, unless your state law provides otherwise, he remains obligated to the lender. A divorce proceeding to which the lender is not a party cannot direct the lender to do or not do anything. You could find yourself compelled to refinance the property in your name only. Depending on your initial loan terms, that could result in adverse financial consequences.

3. If you purchase the house in contemplation of the divorce and in contemplation of a certain distribution of assets, something unexpected could occur. What if your husband decides during the process that he wishes to sell the house and split the proceeds rather than keep the house and allow you to have a larger share of liquid assets? What if you find out during the process there is debt of which you were unaware which affects what you will receive? What if you reconcile before the divorce is finalized but after you have purchased this second "me only" house?

From a financial standpoint, this is unwise. The current real estate market is frothy, I'm not sure why you would be in a rush to purchase at what may very well be market highs. Your purchase decision depends upon the occurrence of a future event that may not go as anticipated. Much like buying an expensive luxury car in contemplation of a large signing bonus at a new job only to find the job offer retracted or the company has financial difficulties. In other words, don't spend money you don't yet have and don't make a purchase decision such as this that depends entirely upon a future event occurring as you expect. You may also want to contemplate not making a purchase of this size while an event such as a separation and divorce is pending. You may think you are emotionally unaffected or that your judgment is not clouded, but renting for a period while you ensure you have a clear mind would be a sound approach.

From a legal standpoint, again, this is unwise. Reaching an amicable agreement with your spouse is fantastic and I encourage divorcing spouses to work collaboratively and cooperatively together to resolve the issues during the divorce process. But you need an attorney advising you and representing you. You don't have to hire a fire-breathing "take no prisoners" litigator. There are many attorneys who will represent you for what is called a "collaborative divorce" or a "cooperative divorce". Your attorney can advise you on actions that you can take during the pendency of the process and what you should NOT do during the pendency of the process. They would be the best person to provide such advice. Your third-party arbitrator cannot do that.

You don't know what you don't know and I urge you to seek legal counsel from a trusted attorney before you make a decision like this during a separation in contemplation of divorce. An ounce of prevention could be worth many, many pounds of cure.

Best wishes.
MrsBDG
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by MrsBDG »

I might have missed it, did anyone mention that your spouse who is keeping the house needs to refi or otherwise remove you from the mortgage ASAP. I have a friend who divorced during the last housing implosion and her husband could not remove her until he sold the house years later.

If you are still showing as responsible for what will soon he his mortgage, that can affect the housing for which you qualify on your own.
ljb
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:24 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by ljb »

Well, my opinion is contrary to the majority of replies.

When my ex-husband and I decided to split, we agreed it made more sense for me to stay in the marital home with the teenage children and for him to get another place. We shopped together and he chose a condo nearby. We bought it cash, in both of our names. The kids and I all helped with painting it before he moved in and on moving day.

We didn't rush getting the marriage ended legally, because it just seemed best to give everyone time to adjust to the situation. Plus, there are tax and insurance advantages to ending it as close to Dec 31 as possible. So, a year and a half after he moved out, on Dec 30, we had the final hearing. That day, I quit-claimed my interest in the condo to him and he quit-claimed his interest in the house to me. Very clean and simple, and satisfactory to both of us.

I disagree with the advice to get a lawyer right away, although it is sometimes necessary. It's necessary if you are divorcing someone who may be dishonest or financially predatory. However, the most amicable divorces with the least spent on legal fees are when the couple negotiates their own agreement and only brings in a lawyer at the very end to tighten up the legal language and do the filing of the agreement that they reached on their own. In our case, we settled a 7 figure divorce involving minor children for a total of $2600 in legal fees, including his and mine. We had fairly simple assets (no family business) and we're both financially literate, so that made things easier.

If financial trust is not broken yet, it is best to try to maintain it. It will save huge amounts of stress and money. Now we are divorced and we each have a will that gives everything in trust to our kids with the other parent as sole trustee. Just because you're not married anymore, doesn't mean you can't cooperate and trust one another in ways that are appropriate in your situation, in your judgement.

Getting back to you original question, if you can afford two houses and that is your long -term desire, and if your soon-to-be-ex is an honest person, I see no reason to wait. Has he been financially honest in the marriage? Is he open and forthcoming with his financial records? Is he willing to cooperate and help make this work for both of you? If so, it makes sense to take advantage of that. If not, get to work separating your finances from him asap and don't buy a house until you are divorced. Go with your gut here.
Lee_WSP
Posts: 5376
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:15 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by Lee_WSP »

rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:30 pm
galawdawg wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:02 pm Forgive my directness but even contemplating acquiring additional jointly owned real estate while on the cusp of dividing the same in a divorce is short-sighted and very unwise. There may be many significant unintended consequences. You need to consult an attorney.
Appreciate your feedback. What are the unintended consequences if we have a quit claim deed?
The biggest risk to you is any hiccup in the divorce proceedings. Of course, by definition, purchasing a home in the middle of said proceedings would cause such a hiccup in the vast majority of states.

If you purchase it together like the poster above me and then divide it in the proceedings, well, that’s an odd way of doing it, but at the end of the day that is just splitting up marital assets. But that is not what you are proposing.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

MrsBDG wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:00 am I might have missed it, did anyone mention that your spouse who is keeping the house needs to refi or otherwise remove you from the mortgage ASAP. I have a friend who divorced during the last housing implosion and her husband could not remove her until he sold the house years later.

If you are still showing as responsible for what will soon he his mortgage, that can affect the housing for which you qualify on your own.
Current home is paid off. It is in a trust in which the beneficiaries are our children and we have a family attorney who will handle all trust issues.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

ljb wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:21 pm Well, my opinion is contrary to the majority of replies.

When my ex-husband and I decided to split, we agreed it made more sense for me to stay in the marital home with the teenage children and for him to get another place. We shopped together and he chose a condo nearby. We bought it cash, in both of our names. The kids and I all helped with painting it before he moved in and on moving day.

We didn't rush getting the marriage ended legally, because it just seemed best to give everyone time to adjust to the situation. Plus, there are tax and insurance advantages to ending it as close to Dec 31 as possible. So, a year and a half after he moved out, on Dec 30, we had the final hearing. That day, I quit-claimed my interest in the condo to him and he quit-claimed his interest in the house to me. Very clean and simple, and satisfactory to both of us.

I disagree with the advice to get a lawyer right away, although it is sometimes necessary. It's necessary if you are divorcing someone who may be dishonest or financially predatory. However, the most amicable divorces with the least spent on legal fees are when the couple negotiates their own agreement and only brings in a lawyer at the very end to tighten up the legal language and do the filing of the agreement that they reached on their own. In our case, we settled a 7 figure divorce involving minor children for a total of $2600 in legal fees, including his and mine. We had fairly simple assets (no family business) and we're both financially literate, so that made things easier.

If financial trust is not broken yet, it is best to try to maintain it. It will save huge amounts of stress and money. Now we are divorced and we each have a will that gives everything in trust to our kids with the other parent as sole trustee. Just because you're not married anymore, doesn't mean you can't cooperate and trust one another in ways that are appropriate in your situation, in your judgement.

Getting back to you original question, if you can afford two houses and that is your long -term desire, and if your soon-to-be-ex is an honest person, I see no reason to wait. Has he been financially honest in the marriage? Is he open and forthcoming with his financial records? Is he willing to cooperate and help make this work for both of you? If so, it makes sense to take advantage of that. If not, get to work separating your finances from him asap and don't buy a house until you are divorced. Go with your gut here.
I appreciate your feedback here. The default "go get a lawyer and stick it to each other" solution does not work for us and I am glad to hear it worked out in your instance.

Financial trust is not broken and we both hope to collaborate on all agreements together.

May I ask if there was a template you used for your agreement? Our situation sounds identical....7 figure divorce, minor children, a disdain for lawyers and fees. We would like to establish a baseline agreement and then take it to a mediator for final tuning/approval.

Would love a PM if you would be willing to share any documents or resources you used. Thank you for your time.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

Lee_WSP wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:34 pm
rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:30 pm
galawdawg wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:02 pm Forgive my directness but even contemplating acquiring additional jointly owned real estate while on the cusp of dividing the same in a divorce is short-sighted and very unwise. There may be many significant unintended consequences. You need to consult an attorney.
Appreciate your feedback. What are the unintended consequences if we have a quit claim deed?
The biggest risk to you is any hiccup in the divorce proceedings. Of course, by definition, purchasing a home in the middle of said proceedings would cause such a hiccup in the vast majority of states.

If you purchase it together like the poster above me and then divide it in the proceedings, well, that’s an odd way of doing it, but at the end of the day that is just splitting up marital assets. But that is not what you are proposing.
Thank you for your feedback. I guess what I'm asking the smart people here is, isn't that exactly what I am proposing? Everything would still be divided evenly, except the homes which would be transferred to each individual via a quit claim deed. But in effect, by using pooled resources to buy the new home, we are evenly dividing our assets because an equitable portion of the assets were used to purchase the new home to offset my interest in the current home DH would keep.

I got a headache writing that but does that logic make sense? Or not? I greatly appreciate all the wonderful feedback here.
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2781
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by galawdawg »

rippinkittin wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:32 pm
ljb wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:21 pm Well, my opinion is contrary to the majority of replies...
I appreciate your feedback here. The default "go get a lawyer and stick it to each other" solution does not work for us and I am glad to hear it worked out in your instance.

Financial trust is not broken and we both hope to collaborate on all agreements together.

May I ask if there was a template you used for your agreement? Our situation sounds identical....7 figure divorce, minor children, a disdain for lawyers and fees. We would like to establish a baseline agreement and then take it to a mediator for final tuning/approval.

Would love a PM if you would be willing to share any documents or resources you used. Thank you for your time.
Since you have a "disdain for lawyers", I'll bow out now. Hope it works out.
User avatar
Mlm
Posts: 566
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:00 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by Mlm »

rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:48 am

We are using an 3rd party arbitrator, no lawyers.
I'm a little curious why you are using a arbitrator. I thought that was for people who have reached an impasse and need a decision of a judge. Why wouldn't you just take your agreed upon decisions to your own lawyers ( each party should have separate representation) to review and let them file the paperwork. It's not complicated or expensive if you are in agreement.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

Mlm wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:30 pm
rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:48 am

We are using an 3rd party arbitrator, no lawyers.
I'm a little curious why you are using a arbitrator. I thought that was for people who have reached an impasse and need a decision of a judge. Why wouldn't you just take your agreed upon decisions to your own lawyers ( each party should have separate representation) to review and let them file the paperwork. It's not complicated or expensive if you are in agreement.
I misspoke. Mediator, not arbitrator. A mediator to work through any blocks, if they arise.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:03 pm
rippinkittin wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:32 pm
ljb wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:21 pm Well, my opinion is contrary to the majority of replies...
I appreciate your feedback here. The default "go get a lawyer and stick it to each other" solution does not work for us and I am glad to hear it worked out in your instance.

Financial trust is not broken and we both hope to collaborate on all agreements together.

May I ask if there was a template you used for your agreement? Our situation sounds identical....7 figure divorce, minor children, a disdain for lawyers and fees. We would like to establish a baseline agreement and then take it to a mediator for final tuning/approval.

Would love a PM if you would be willing to share any documents or resources you used. Thank you for your time.
Since you have a "disdain for lawyers", I'll bow out now. Hope it works out.
We have disdain for unnecessary expenses. Hence these posts appearing on the Boglehead board. Sorry your feelings are hurt. Thank you for your valuable information.
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2781
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by galawdawg »

No hurt feelings at all! :happy

It simply appears from which posts you choose to respond to and how you respond that your mind is fixed and you are primarily looking for validation of your plan, rather than the advice you requested.

Nobody has suggested that you take an adversarial approach with your spouse but many have recommended you consult with an attorney about the possible ramifications of your desire to purchase a home during the pendency or contemplation of legal proceedings. However, you have spurned that advice and opined that the advice from an attorney is an "unnecessary expense."

I don't practice law in your state and have nothing to gain from my respectful recommendation that spending a modest amount now for such advice could potentially save you from a more costly and difficult situation later. But you know your own risk tolerance better than I do and you may be willing to assume those risks in order to save a few hundred dollars.

Again, I wish you the best in what I'm sure is a difficult time, regardless of how congenial and cooperative the split.
Lee_WSP
Posts: 5376
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:15 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by Lee_WSP »

rippinkittin wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:36 pm
Lee_WSP wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:34 pm
rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:30 pm
galawdawg wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:02 pm Forgive my directness but even contemplating acquiring additional jointly owned real estate while on the cusp of dividing the same in a divorce is short-sighted and very unwise. There may be many significant unintended consequences. You need to consult an attorney.
Appreciate your feedback. What are the unintended consequences if we have a quit claim deed?
The biggest risk to you is any hiccup in the divorce proceedings. Of course, by definition, purchasing a home in the middle of said proceedings would cause such a hiccup in the vast majority of states.

If you purchase it together like the poster above me and then divide it in the proceedings, well, that’s an odd way of doing it, but at the end of the day that is just splitting up marital assets. But that is not what you are proposing.
Thank you for your feedback. I guess what I'm asking the smart people here is, isn't that exactly what I am proposing? Everything would still be divided evenly, except the homes which would be transferred to each individual via a quit claim deed. But in effect, by using pooled resources to buy the new home, we are evenly dividing our assets because an equitable portion of the assets were used to purchase the new home to offset my interest in the current home DH would keep.

I got a headache writing that but does that logic make sense? Or not? I greatly appreciate all the wonderful feedback here.
It would require restarting the divorce process. Maybe that's what you want, maybe not.

If you already filed. There's a good chance your both under an injunction to not use up any marital assets. But I've probably already said too much. If you really want to proceed you should at least talk to a local attorney.
ljb
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:24 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by ljb »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:03 pm
Since you have a "disdain for lawyers", I'll bow out now. Hope it works out.
OP said that she and I shared a disdain for lawyers, but I wouldn't use those words. I have a huge respect for lawyers and try to always consult one when needed. My father was a lawyer and I respected him and the work he did for his clients tremendously.

I think the way the law is written, where at least in my state, the attorney may only represent one party in a divorce and is vulnerable to malpractice claims if he/she doesn't vigorously advocate for one party's side, leads to many divorces being unnecessarily ugly and expensive. I don't blame the lawyers for this.

I have offered family members money to pay for a lawyer before when I thought it was needed, and even a friend recently who was trying to go through a divorce pro se. Many times a lawyer is critical. But the benefits of a lawyer's expert knowledge have to be balanced against the cost and the fact that lawyers, by the nature of the legal system, often make a divorce more adversarial.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:07 pm No hurt feelings at all! :happy

It simply appears from which posts you choose to respond to and how you respond that your mind is fixed and you are primarily looking for validation of your plan, rather than the advice you requested.

Nobody has suggested that you take an adversarial approach with your spouse but many have recommended you consult with an attorney about the possible ramifications of your desire to purchase a home during the pendency or contemplation of legal proceedings. However, you have spurned that advice and opined that the advice from an attorney is an "unnecessary expense."

I don't practice law in your state and have nothing to gain from my respectful recommendation that spending a modest amount now for such advice could potentially save you from a more costly and difficult situation later. But you know your own risk tolerance better than I do and you may be willing to assume those risks in order to save a few hundred dollars.

Again, I wish you the best in what I'm sure is a difficult time, regardless of how congenial and cooperative the split.
Not fixed at all! And looking for alternative viewpoints, not validation.
Topic Author
rippinkittin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:39 am

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by rippinkittin »

Lee_WSP wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:18 pm
rippinkittin wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:36 pm
Lee_WSP wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:34 pm
rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:30 pm
galawdawg wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:02 pm Forgive my directness but even contemplating acquiring additional jointly owned real estate while on the cusp of dividing the same in a divorce is short-sighted and very unwise. There may be many significant unintended consequences. You need to consult an attorney.
Appreciate your feedback. What are the unintended consequences if we have a quit claim deed?
The biggest risk to you is any hiccup in the divorce proceedings. Of course, by definition, purchasing a home in the middle of said proceedings would cause such a hiccup in the vast majority of states.

If you purchase it together like the poster above me and then divide it in the proceedings, well, that’s an odd way of doing it, but at the end of the day that is just splitting up marital assets. But that is not what you are proposing.
Thank you for your feedback. I guess what I'm asking the smart people here is, isn't that exactly what I am proposing? Everything would still be divided evenly, except the homes which would be transferred to each individual via a quit claim deed. But in effect, by using pooled resources to buy the new home, we are evenly dividing our assets because an equitable portion of the assets were used to purchase the new home to offset my interest in the current home DH would keep.

I got a headache writing that but does that logic make sense? Or not? I greatly appreciate all the wonderful feedback here.
It would require restarting the divorce process. Maybe that's what you want, maybe not.

If you already filed. There's a good chance your both under an injunction to not use up any marital assets. But I've probably already said too much. If you really want to proceed you should at least talk to a local attorney.
We have not filed so this is not the case.
Lee_WSP
Posts: 5376
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:15 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by Lee_WSP »

rippinkittin wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:31 pm
Lee_WSP wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:18 pm
rippinkittin wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:36 pm
Lee_WSP wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:34 pm
rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:30 pm

Appreciate your feedback. What are the unintended consequences if we have a quit claim deed?
The biggest risk to you is any hiccup in the divorce proceedings. Of course, by definition, purchasing a home in the middle of said proceedings would cause such a hiccup in the vast majority of states.

If you purchase it together like the poster above me and then divide it in the proceedings, well, that’s an odd way of doing it, but at the end of the day that is just splitting up marital assets. But that is not what you are proposing.
Thank you for your feedback. I guess what I'm asking the smart people here is, isn't that exactly what I am proposing? Everything would still be divided evenly, except the homes which would be transferred to each individual via a quit claim deed. But in effect, by using pooled resources to buy the new home, we are evenly dividing our assets because an equitable portion of the assets were used to purchase the new home to offset my interest in the current home DH would keep.

I got a headache writing that but does that logic make sense? Or not? I greatly appreciate all the wonderful feedback here.
It would require restarting the divorce process. Maybe that's what you want, maybe not.

If you already filed. There's a good chance your both under an injunction to not use up any marital assets. But I've probably already said too much. If you really want to proceed you should at least talk to a local attorney.
We have not filed so this is not the case.
Then the options are to buy it together and then separate the assets or buy it after the divorce is finalized. I would still advise consulting with a local attorney to find out if there are any legal ladnmines to the first option. I am not licensed in your state and cannot tell you. It’s also no longer my practice area.
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2781
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by galawdawg »

ljb wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:21 pm I think the way the law is written, where at least in my state, the attorney may only represent one party in a divorce and is vulnerable to malpractice claims if he/she doesn't vigorously advocate for one party's side, leads to many divorces being unnecessarily ugly and expensive. I don't blame the lawyers for this.

...Many times a lawyer is critical. But the benefits of a lawyer's expert knowledge have to be balanced against the cost and the fact that lawyers, by the nature of the legal system, often make a divorce more adversarial.
Yes, attempting to represent both spouses is unwise, no matter how "friendly" and cooperative they may be with each other during the separation. And yes, I have known a few attorneys in my time who see a client with deep pockets and doesn't mind litigating a little more aggressively in order to increase their legal fees. It is disgraceful in my opinion but it does occur, fortunately not with any regularity.

But as I mentioned in an earlier post, there are attorneys and law firms that specialize in collaborative divorce, which sounds ideal for the OP if her spouse is also interested in that process. Each spouse has their own attorney to advise them but the process is non-adversarial and based upon the cooperation of both parties in resolving all of the matters. It has been quite successful in those cases where I have seen that approach used and the parties involved appear to have been very pleased with the process.
protagonist
Posts: 7171
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Real Estate Advice for Divorcee

Post by protagonist »

rippinkittin wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:48 am
Chris K Jones wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:39 am I would suggest running this past your attorney. If you don't have one, you probably should get one :) Best wishes.
We are using an 3rd party arbitrator, no lawyers.
That's not a reason not to have an attorney as well who is on your side and can answer your questions like your question about the real estate. The lawyer need not get involved in your divorce.
Divorces can start out friendly and take a bad turn....you can't assume it will stay amicable, though hopefully it will.
I wouldn't just take somebody's advice online. For one thing, every state has different laws. It should be pretty easy to get an answer to your question from somebody familiar with your state's divorce laws.
Post Reply