Getting a Colorado Divorce?
Need some advice regarding joint real estate?
A million married couples split each year in the USA. Yep. I’ve been there.
Your head is full of thoughts and feelings. In the beginning, the emotions alone can be almost overwhelming. I remember thinking “Stop the ride, I want to get off!” Even just a short break from the multitude of tasks that come with untangling yourself from another person is desirable, during the process.
You need good advice – from the get-go. Better to learn the options, pitfalls and the easier way to do things, before you make decisions and sign paperwork. There is enough on your plate and in your head already, so the primary goal is to meet your needs (both of you) with the least possible money spent, time wasted and brain damage caused!
Colorado Divorce and Real Estate
Consult with a Colorado Realtor well before you put a house up for sale. Consult with a Colorado Realtor before the divorce agreement is settled (or goes to trial) and even better… Before the initial papers are filed and there is public record. If the house is handled incorrectly, there is a chance that both spouses may be ineligible to qualify for a mortgage. This means no buying of a replacement house AND not being able to refinance the existing jointly owned marital house so that one spouse can keep it and maybe buy out the other spouse.
Colorado Divorce and Property Insurance
Insurance is often the last thing you are thinking about. The policy is in place already and you’re thinking that you’re covered in the same way you have been up until now. Am I right?
Consider this though…
If both of the couple agree the house is being sold, just leave the existing homeowners insurance policy in place until the sale. If the property is quit claimed from one party to the other it is then best to rewrite the policy into one persons name – or simply remove one party from the policy, if that is a possibility. During a Colorado divorce, run a title check of the property before the quit claim deed is signed! The time to discover that your Ex put a lien against the house is NOT after you own the house and wish to sell it or refinance it. It’s important to really understand how much equity is in the house.
If the house is going to be vacant at any time prior to selling, let your insurance broker know this. It might change the insurance requirements.
Perhaps more complicated and a little outside the scope of this post, but very important and it’s OK to have a good Realtor remind you of things that are not directly real estate related too! Don’t keep sharing auto policies if cars are not registered to both parties any more. Once you and your spouse split, make the appropriate changes to the auto policies you both have. By keeping shared policies, you are keeping shared liability. For instance, he has a big car crash and doesn’t have enough liability insurance to satisfy the court? They could come after the wife to pay.
Don’t forget to think about those teen driver’s and whose car they will be insured to drive after your Colorado divorce. Teen driver policies are not cheap and it’s worth figuring out the cost and splitting it/adding language to the separation agreement.
Colorado Divorce and Life Insurance:
Also not my field… But who is your beneficiary? Your Ex? Something to think about!
Your Realtor for Colorado Divorce:
Sometimes it just helps to talk things through with another person. Everyone benefits from having a strong team. You’ll probably never appreciate it more, than when going through a divorce.
As your Realtor, I’m committed to providing you with step-by-step guidance during this time. You want to protect yourself legally, financially and emotionally. I aim to communicate with both parties equally during a divorce sale and vow to maintain the trust needed to find solutions to issues and help you both achieve your goals.
During our chats you can expect me to refer you to divorce lawyers, mortgage experts, insurance agents, title company professionals and financial advisers when and as required, in order that we have all the information you need to feel comfortable making some pretty big decisions.
Husband and wife agree they are going to divorce. Together they own a nice house. He is not working, but is back in school. She has a good job. During several meeting with attorneys and a mediator, they divide up their assets and debts. She is required to take more debt and to help support him for the next 3 years. (They have kids together and their CO judge wants to be sure that the kids will have a reasonable standard of living during their time with dad.)
They agree that he will quit claim the house to the wife. Wife will then sell the house and pay the debts owed. The remaining equity will be her share of the marital assets. He has taken the vehicles, toys etc.
Fast forward a year and the house is under contract. The title company finds not one but two liens on the property that were left over after a bankruptcy several years earlier. Husband ran up credit card debt and the couple filed bankruptcy as a last resort to get out from under the insurmountable debt he had racked up.
So, here is where we are:
1. Bankruptcy circa 2010. Bankruptcy attorney never follows through to make sure that the very debts they sort to get rid of, were not still liens against the marital house.
2. Divorce circa 2013. Two divorce attorneys fail to suggest a title search or take into account that wife is taking ownership of a property that has (less than) no equity in it!
3. House is under contract and I’m the Sellers Agent. A title search reveals 2 liens of $50,000. In order to sell the house as is, the title company needs to pay of said liens (still under Ex-hubby’s name) and that means the Ex-wife needs to bring money to closing in order to pay off existing mortgage and other closing related costs.
4. I advised Seller to reopen the bankruptcy case in order that the liens can be removed from the title. Attorney #4 does just that… but it takes 45 days and was not half as simply as I’m making it sound! (Ex-wife pays the cost of this.)
5. With liens removed, we proceed to closing and all the debts the wife took are paid off. She takes the equity finally received and uses it as a down payment for her new house. 🙂