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Can I Purchase Real Estate while in the Midst of a Divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2019 | Divorce

Q: I recently finished a divorce mediation process with a mediator in Carlsbad. Now the mediator says I cannot purchase real estate while in the midst of a divorce for six months. What’s up with that?

A: There is no prohibition against acquiring real property or any other asset once you and your spouse have come to a full agreement, provided of course that you have disclosed the moneys you are proposing to use to acquire your new home and/or investment.

Despite this, many title insurance companies may require you obtain a quitclaim deed from your spouse to assure title is in your name only, free from any and all claims of the soon to be divorced spouse.  The mediator might be referencing the six month time frame necessary to become single.  If you are going to acquire title to property as “a single person” then you have to be sure the marital status has been terminated from the spouse you are divorcing.

Otherwise, you are still a “married” person and risk the determination that the newly purchased real estate is actually still community property which must be divided.  As a vestige from earlier legislative enactments there is still a six month waiting period in the state of California before the Court can terminate the marital status.  The six month waiting period starts when the Court has jurisdiction over both spouses.  It obtains until the marital status is terminated, you are still married, your spouse is still your spouse, you cannot remarry (bigamy laws), you can still be a dependent of your spouse or vice versa and you can still file joint tax returns.

Once the divorce is completed and/or the marital status is terminated then you are no longer related to your former spouse, you are divorced, you have no insurable interest in the spouse [unless receiving support], you cannot inherit from former spouse, but you can remarry and acquire property in your own name as a single person.

If you have specific questions about your ability to purchase real estate while in the midst of a divorce do not hesitate to contact one of the experienced attorneys at Burke & Domercq, APC or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment.  We are conveniently located in Carlsbad and serve communities throughout North County San Diego. Our staff is friendly, efficient and cost conscious, dedicated to assisting you in achieving a great result.