Often, the family home is one of the more difficult assets to address in a divorce. Even if both parties agree to sell the home, the process can still be difficult. In a recent unpublished case, a Washington appeals court determined whether the sale of a home was “imminent,” as required by the divorce decree, or whether the husband was required to pay the wife $15,000 because it was not imminent.
The marriage was dissolved by a degree of dissolution that awarded the home to the husband. The wife was required to execute and deliver a quit claim deed. The trial court subtracted $30,000 from the net value of the home for the closing costs and used that reduced value to determine the property award. The court subtracted the closing costs because the husband assured the court he intended to sell the home imminently. The decree included a provision that required him to pay the wife $15,000 if he did not sell the house “imminently,” which was defined as within nine months from the entry of the decree. February 18, 2016 was nine months from the entry of the decree.
A purchase and sale agreement was signed on February 11, 2016, although the purchase was subject to contingencies. The buyers then waived all contingencies on February 17. The wife moved the court for an order enforcing the decree and awarding her the $15,000 on March 10. The sale of the home then closed on March 15.