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Can selling a family home be deferred in a California divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2022 | Divorce

Since real estate is so valuable in California, one of the most important questions in many California divorces is how to divide the family home. This topic can lead to many tricky issues.

In some cases, one party wants to defer the sale of the marital home to a later date. A common reason for this is for the custodial parent to stay in the property with a minor child. In these cases, the parties should understand the law and consider their options.

What happens when a parent wants to defer the sale of a family home?

When children are involved in a divorce, the court’s priority will be to serve the child’s best interests. If that includes them staying in the family home with the custodial parent over the objections of the other parent, then the court might allow it.

The court will want to know if the plan is economically realistic , considering the mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and other costs.

The court will look at the parent who plans to live in the home and their income, whether spousal support and/or child support will be available, and other sources of income.

If the court decides that it is economically possible, it can decide to order that the sale of the home be deferred so the negative impact on the child can be limited.

The court will assess factors including:

  • How long the child lived in the home
  • The child’s age and grade level
  • If the property is near the school and other facilities the child might need or use
  • If the home has been adapted to account for a child’s disabilities
  • If the location allows the parent to maintain a job
  • The finances and housing situation of both parents

When the family home is in dispute, qualified help can be vital to a good outcome

In Carlsbad and the surrounding areas, it is not uncommon for people to have a nice home and significant assets as part of a high-asset divorce. Still, the marital home can be valuable and expensive to maintain.

Many people going through a divorce would prefer to sell their homes, rather than have the custodial parent retain it, even if there is a minor child involved.

The court will need to sift through the evidence to decide if it is preferable to let the custodial parent keep the property, at least temporarily.

For these cases, the standard of living, how much will be paid in spousal support, parenting time protocol and the various financial considerations will come to the forefront.

In many instances the parents might negotiate and come to a reasonable agreement regarding the family home and decide that it is better to defer its sale. In others, the court will need to weigh the evidence, factor in the child’s best interests and make an order. Regardless of the point of view of either parent, having comprehensive legal assistance can be crucial in the case.

It may be necessary to have aggressive legal guidance to try and handle the challenges and get what the person wants. From the outset, it is wise to know what the end goal is and take the necessary steps to achieve it with help from qualified professionals who have experience with complex property division.