March 1, 2024

Can My Spouse Sell Our House Without My Consent During Divorce in Missouri?

Divorce can be a complex and emotionally challenging process, and one of the many concerns that may arise is the fate of jointly owned property. If you find yourself in a divorce in Missouri, you may be wondering whether your spouse has the ability to sell your shared house without your consent. Below we look at selling a house during divorce in Missouri.

What Is Joint Ownership During Divorce in Missouri?

Joint ownership refers to two or more individuals holding equal or unequal shares in a property. In the context of divorce, joint ownership typically applies to the marital home.

In Missouri, joint ownership may be subject to specific laws and guidelines. Familiarize yourself with these regulations to better understand your rights and options during the divorce process.

2 Types of Property Ownership in Missouri

1. Joint Tenants

One form of joint ownership in Missouri is called joint tenancy. In joint tenancy, each owner has an equal and undivided interest in the property. This means that if one owner passes away, their share automatically transfers to the surviving owner(s) without the need for probate.

2. Tenants in Common

The other form of joint ownership in Missouri is known as tenants in common. Unlike joint tenancy, tenants in common can have unequal shares in the property. Each owner's interest is separate and distinct, and if one owner passes away, their share does not automatically transfer to the other owner(s).

Missouri Legal Requirements for Selling Jointly Owned Property During Divorce

In Missouri, there are specific legal requirements that must be followed. Understanding these procedures can help protect your interests and ensure a fair division of assets:

  1. Obtain a court order: In Missouri, a court order is typically required to sell jointly owned property during divorce. This order outlines the terms and conditions of the sale and ensures that both parties are treated fairly.
  2. Agree on the listing price: The spouses must agree on the listing price of the property. If an agreement cannot be reached, the court may appoint a neutral third party, such as a real estate appraiser, to determine the fair market value.
  3. Market the property: Once the listing price is determined, the property must be actively marketed to potential buyers. This may involve hiring a real estate agent or utilizing other marketing strategies.
  4. Share proceeds: The proceeds from the sale of the property should be divided according to the court's order or agreement between the parties. It is crucial to ensure a fair distribution of the funds.
  5. Transfer ownership: After the sale is finalized, the ownership of the property needs to be transferred to the buyer. This transfer should comply with all legal requirements and documentation.

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

What Is Marital Property?

Marital property refers to assets acquired during the course of the marriage by either spouse. This can include the marital home, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, and other assets. In Missouri, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, which means it is divided fairly but not necessarily equally between the spouses.

What Is Separate Property?

Separate property, on the other hand, includes assets that were owned by either spouse before the marriage or were acquired during the marriage through inheritance or gift. Separate property is typically not subject to division during divorce.

Rights and Protections Against Unauthorized Sale

If your spouse attempts to sell the property without your consent, you can file a lis pendens, which is a notice stating that the property is subject to pending litigation. This can help protect your ownership rights and prevent the sale from proceeding without proper legal resolution.

In certain cases, you may be able to obtain a court order to prevent the sale of the property until the divorce proceedings are finalized. An injunction can provide temporary relief and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on the division of the property, you may consider filing a partition action. This legal action can force the sale of the property and facilitate a fair distribution of the proceeds.

Preventative Measures and Agreements

To prevent unauthorized sale and protect your interests during divorce, there are several measures you can take. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Legal agreements: Before or during the marriage, you and your spouse can enter into legal agreements, such as a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement. These agreements can outline the division of property in the event of a divorce and provide clarity on ownership rights.
  • Monitoring property records: Stay informed about any changes in property records related to the marital home. Regularly check for any attempts to sell or transfer ownership without your knowledge or consent.
  • Seek legal advice: Consult with a qualified attorney to understand your rights and obligations. They can help you devise a proactive strategy to protect your interests, including obtaining court orders or filing necessary legal documents.
  • Communication and negotiation: Open and honest communication with your spouse can help prevent misunderstandings and potential unauthorized sales. If possible, try to come to a mutually agreeable resolution regarding the property division.

Can I Legally Sell My House As-Is for Cash During Divorce?

A cash home sale is a transaction where a buyer purchases a property directly from the seller without involving traditional financing methods, such as obtaining a mortgage. Instead, the buyer provides the full purchase amount in cash.

Selling your house for cash during a divorce is a legal option and can offer several advantages. Since cash home sales typically involve a quicker closing process, it can expedite the division of assets and provide a swift resolution during a challenging time.

A cash home sale allows you to bypass the traditional real estate market, which can be time-consuming and require extensive repairs or renovations. By selling your house as-is, you can alleviate the stress of preparing your home for sale and focus on other aspects of the divorce process.

What Are the Benefits of a Cash Home Sale during Divorce?

If you are considering a cash home sale during divorce, here are four benefits to keep in mind:

  1. Quick closing: Cash home sales often result in faster closings than traditional sales involving mortgage financing. This can expedite the division of assets and provide a quicker resolution during a challenging time.
  2. As-is condition: When selling your house for cash, you can typically sell it in its current condition without the need for costly repairs or renovations. This can save you time, money, and stress during the divorce process.
  3. Avoiding real estate commissions: Selling your house directly for cash can help you avoid real estate agent commissions, which can be a significant expense. This can result in a higher net profit from the sale.
  4. Streamlined process: Cash home sales often involve a simplified and streamlined process. With fewer parties involved, the transaction can be more straightforward and less complicated, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your divorce.

Sell Your House Fast in Missouri and Kansas

If you need to sell your house fast but don’t want the hassle of a traditional home sale, contact Brittco. We buy houses as-is. No repairs are needed. Avoid closing costs and realtor commissions. Close in as little as seven days. Call 913-423-8856 for a fast cash offer from our local home buyers in Missouri and Kansas.

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