When selling a home before a divorce has been finalized, there can be concerns about equitable division of proceeds when there are other financial matters yet to be resolved. What safeguards can be put in place to ensure that all financial assets are considered and distributed equitably?
Fortunately, there are several options available to protect your financial interests in such a case.
Work With Your Title Company
The first thing you can do is to provide specific escrow instructions to your title company. Include direction to hold off on issuing a check for home sale proceeds until all matters in your divorce are resolved. Your instructions will be followed if contained in a court order. Often times, title companies will abide by instructions contained in a letter signed by either you and your spouse or your respective attorneys. In this instance, further instructions regarding disbursement of the proceeds can be provided to the title company at a later date.
If a title company receives specific instructions regarding the amounts to be paid to you, your spouse, or a third party, separate checks will be issued. Such instructions or orders are also important in situations where your property will not be sold until after the divorce. This way, you can ensure your former spouse doesn’t receive a check made payable to both of you, forge your name, and spend all the money. Although this may seem unimaginable, we have seen it happen more than once. For this reason, it is best to include as many details as possible to your title company so that your interests will be protected.
As one of the top family law firms in Phoenix, our team at Hallier Stearns PLC has the experience to help our clients with the most complicated divorce situations. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.