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What is a deferred sale of home order in a California divorce?

In a California divorce, there are scenarios where property division and child support intersect. In cases where a family home must be sold, the sale of the property may be temporarily delayed so the custodial parent can reside there, regardless of whether the parents have sole custody or joint custody. This is called a deferred sale of home order. Understanding what the law says about this in the context of divorce and property division is critical to a case and can help the child adapt to the new circumstances.

If a party has asked for the deferred sale, the court will decide if there is sufficient economic feasibility for the payments of the residence to be continued, including taxes, insurance and other costs. The home's condition will also be considered. The following will be factored in: the income of the resident parent; the availability of support; and if there are other available sources to make the payments. The goal when making the determination is to: avoid defaults and subsequent foreclosures; avoid insufficient insurance on the home; prevent the residence from deteriorating; and prevent other situations that could negatively impact the equity the parties share in the property.

For the child, the court will consider the following when determining whether to grant the deferred order: how long the child lived there; the grade the child is in; how accessible and convenient the school and other services are in relation to the home; if the home has been adapted to accommodate a disabled child; if it will be emotionally detrimental to the child to move; the location of the property and how it impacts the parent's continued employment; tax considerations; the financial ability of the parent to find other, suitable housing; if there would be an economic detriment to the non-resident parent; and other factors considered important.

With divorce and the family residence, there are many factors that will be considered in the context of child support and child custody. The deferred sale of a home is one. For assistance with this and any other aspect of divorce, a law firm experienced in family law should be contacted for advice and representation.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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