Relocate to Wisconsin : I Will just BUY the House, Shouted the Almost Ex Husband

I Will just BUY the House, Shouted the Almost Ex Husband

    Real Estate and is not is recession proof....and there is never a dull moment if you choose to have this niche as part of your practice.

    Wisconsin is a community property state one of nine in the country which include:  Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Community Property StatesWashington.   In addition, Alaska is called an "opt in" community property state where both spouses have the option to make their property, community property if they so choose.  Basically, that means that property is "divided equally"....the house, the cars, the investments, etc. belong equally to each spouse. That does not mean that there are not trade gets this and the other gets that of equal value. It also doesn't mean that there are legal ways to exclude property, money etc. from division for example inheritance.  

     Sometimes, rather than sell the real estate owned during the marriage, a spouse would rather buy the other spouse out and keep the property....sometimes that is possible and sometimes not...though often neither the spouse nor the lawyers nor the judge look at the realities of a one spouse buying out the other.  Divorce can for many people be a kind of House divided by divorce"identity crisis."  Part of who they are  is that house in the neighborhood they chose, that designer's clothing line, that make of car, that brand of name it...the "outside appearance" is their identity and divorce means financial compromise where not all of those things are possible with income divided, maintenance and child support can be factors as well.  The reality of their lives having a "new normal" is not comfortable....and the house is something that they want to hang on to, to make not only that outward appearance "normal" but to have the prestige of that creature comfort not be disturbed by the severance of the marriage.

Divorce decree    It is very often a judge's order in divorce that one spouse is given a specific period of time to either refinance or sell the house. In this Divorce Realtor Expert's opinion that time is usually too long.  The realties of credit scores, debt to income ratios, down payments do not take months to evaluate. As with any home purchase or refinance, the decision can made quite quickly by a competent loan officer given the "new normal" of the spouse's financial position.  If maintenance and/or support are owed this is taken from the spouse's check and processed through the state so the new net and the old net are not with taxes...the money just disappears from gross earnings.   One spouse may be taking on more debt than the other which of credit scorecourse plays a part in this abiity to does the credit score that may be less than sterling.  Sometimes not paying bills even when ordered to by the court but "incurred by the future ex-spouse" are not paid on a timely basis believing this punishes the almost ex...with no regard to the hit taken on a credit score.

    Threats of "buy outs" may be just that...a threat that is financially empty and fiscally impossible...adding emotional fuel to the fire of a contentious divorce....but in reality, with no basis in fact or opportunity. "Wanting" to refinance, wanting things to be as "normal as the past" is not enough....or realistic.  It is not how either spouse will move on to the next stage of their life as a single person. Divorce forces people to examine new realities...not wishful ones.

    Reality check Doing a financial reality check before one gets to trial....or better yet...making this financial examination some of the "home work" that should be done to have a meaningful settlement conference lessen the frustration, wind down the stress and enables each spouse to approach the "new normal" realistically.

    This post has been writtten as a service to all people...spouses...lawyers....realtors...and judges as a pro active consideration for resolution of one of the issues in divorce.  If you or anyone you know is considering divorce in southeastern Wisconsin, Call the Hansons, we are the only certified divorce specialists in the state and honored to be of service.

Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS

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Comment balloon 15 commentsSally K. & David L. Hanson • June 03 2017 07:16AM


You are experts in helping people getting a divorce in selling their home. It is a difficult job

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) 12 months ago

Good morning Sally.  We are going to discuss this niche in our next meeting Wednesday.  You maybe getting some calls

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) 12 months ago

Community property, as a concept, sounds like a problem just waiting to happen.

Looks like a western thing!  What, did Wisconsin trade Oregon for the rights?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 12 months ago

Good morning Sally and David.  Dealing with angry spouses is something that takes special folks like you to handle well.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 12 months ago

It does not matter how things are set up...divorce brings on many issues that may not be so pleasent

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) 12 months ago

Very interesting, Hansons Both, that the courts give a certain time to sell the house or decide on a buy-out by one of the spouses. I've never had to deal with the 'legal' side of divorcing clients but, have wound up with the sale of several divorcing couples' homes. It's not always negative - one recently, the divorcing couple remained best friends (and I have to admit, that felt a bit 'weird' to me!)

NC is an equitable distribution state - it's 50/50 unless one party can prove that they are more deserving of the property. Herein lies the problem in our state - arguing the compelling reason!  Thankfully, I haven't had to deal with that part of it with my clients but, my hat is off to you two for this being your niche - they're not always the easiest of transactions!

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 12 months ago

Good morning Sally and David. Your post makes a lot of sense. Ability to purchase or in this case buy out, is more important than desire.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 12 months ago

Good morning, Sally and David -- reality checks of all varieties(and especially those involved with finances) are important.  Always.  Another smart post.   Have a great Saturday and weekend.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 12 months ago

This is great information to share.

Have an outstanding weekend.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) 12 months ago

Sally and David one mistake I see often is the spouse who is going to be bought out by the other or even just letting the other spouse have the house, quit claim the property over to the other spouse before they are off of the mortgage.  This is a big mistake, because they now do not have any ownership interest in the property but are still responsible for the mortgage.  I always advise not to quit claim until the closing on the refinance.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) 12 months ago

I really enjoyed this blog post as I am living in one of the community property states. I understand the difference professional advise can make Sally K. & David L. Hanson 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) 12 months ago

Two of my recent sales came about because of divorces.  And, the two couples knew each other and are my friends.  Talk about walking a fine line...  I got them through it by setting down some ground rules.  Every correspondence would be cc'd to both parties and there would be no discussion of "he said, she said" with me.  Neither couple was to discuss  the other couple with me and until the homes were sold, social events with me and them were on hold.  Maybe I was just lucky but everyone played by the rules and the properties closed and all is good.

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) 12 months ago

I have heard that threat and actually have seen it come to pass. Many times it is best to just let the home go and move on.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) 12 months ago

I have been through a divorce and can relate to everything you mentioned. Ut's great that you can help people through the divorce process when it comes to real estate.

Posted by Karen Hellier, Freelance Writer for Professionals, North Georgia (Freelance Writer) 11 months ago

I've been getting a lot of "divorcing" leads lately and your article is very helpful Sally K. & David L. Hanson. I also agree with George Souto that it is very important to be off the existing mortgage before giving up rights to the home.

I've been through a divorce and actually thought NJ is a community property state... Obviously, I have a lot to learn and will be following you to do that.

Thank you for sharing!


Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) 11 months ago