Marriage is no longer forever. Once a couple has decided to go their separate ways, they don’t necessarily have to wait until after the year of the divorce before selling a jointly owned house or apartment. But what should people be aware of when selling up during the year of the divorce? And what benefits can the owners expect?
The year of their divorce is of major importance to couples wanting to break up. That’s because this year is the prerequisite to being able to go through with the divorce in the first place. Only after this period has elapsed is the conjugal partnership as defined under German law dissolved. Yet a jointly owned property can already be sold during the year of the divorce if neither of the spouses wish to remain living in it. However, this is only possible if both spouses are completely sure that they won’t reconcile.
During the year of the divorce, both spouses must manage separate households. However, this is not always financially feasible. In addition, neither of the two spouses can demand that the other person move out.
Reasons for selling up during the year of the divorce
Spouses can spend the year of their divorce living under the same roof. This is often what happens in the case of joint property ownership – albeit without a shared bedroom and with separate use of the kitchen.
It would be simpler to jointly sell the property and divide the proceeds between the two as-yet-still-married spouses. A sale is a good solution not just in order to avoid the difficulty of managing separate households – it is also a quicker way of paying off the jointly held mortgage.
Especially in the case where there is great demand and little availability, the proceeds of a property sale can be used to pay off a mortgage or loan more quickly. A sale during this period also involves less time pressure. The search for a buyer can be approached in a more relaxed manner. But beware: conflict between the still-married spouses can negatively influence the planned sale.
Disputes during the sales process
A quarrelling couple that has agreed on the sale of their property must make some important decisions. It is often difficult to avoid disputes and disagreements when selling up. In order to nevertheless tackle the task without any stress or quarrels, we recommend engaging the services of a professional estate agent. They will be able to mediate between the disputing parties and professionally complete the sales process through to the point of handover. A professional estate agent will also help couples find a legal expert in case any maintenance claims or other matters relevant to the divorce need to be legally resolved.
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In this text, the generic masculine is used for better readability. Feminine and other gender identities are explicitly included to the extent necessary for the statement.
Legal note: This article does not constitute tax or legal advice in individual cases. Please have the facts of your specific individual case clarified by a lawyer and/or tax advisor.
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