Selling Assets Before Divorce
Many couples try to sell assets during the divorce to pay off debt or share the proceeds. Selling assets rather than dividing them in a divorce can make for an easier split, but there are some pitfalls you should look out for. Here are some do’s and don’ts for selling assets in your divorce.
- Do make sure you are selling the right assets. Don’t sell assets that could result in a loss. It may not be an ideal climate in which to sell certain assets like the family home. Though this would certainly make for a clean split, you and your spouse may be missing out on valuable equity if the real estate market is not prime. Instead, discuss your options with your spouse for keeping the house temporarily. Many couples can work out an agreement on the home until the real estate market is more favorable. Discuss your options with an experienced Massachusetts mediator to ensure you are making the best choice for your family.
- Don’t sell assets too soon for less than fair market value. Assets such as rare art and collectibles may take some time to sell. For these items, finding the right buyer is the key to getting a fair market value out of them. If you are unable to sell some assets for a fair price during the divorce, you can include a provision in your separation agreement that stipulates what will happen to the asset in the meantime and how the proceeds will be split when it is sold.
- Do get appraisals for the fair market value before selling assets. You may feel like you need to sell them quickly to keep your divorce moving along, but if you are your spouse are mediating your divorce and want to work together, it can benefit both of you to take the time to get professional appraisals for at least high-value assets.
- Don’t sell assets without your spouse’s approval first. To minimize the risk of any hard feelings, make sure you only sell assets you both agree can be let go. Remember, your marital assets are jointly owned by both of you. They must be equitably divided in the divorce under Massachusetts law. Consult with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you have questions about how you can best manage your assets in your divorce.
If you have questions about how to best preserve your assets during a divorce, The Law Office of Polly Tatum can assist you. Experienced in divorce mediation, Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you and your spouse handle your assets smartly during a divorce. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County.