Asked and AnsweredI obtained sole ownership of my condo in my divorce, but the deed for the apartment is still in both of our names. Will my ex-spouse’s cooperation be required when I’m ready to sell the apartment?
Yes. Ownership of an apartment is often given to one party or the other in a divorce settlement. That being said, the actual transfer of ownership from both spouses to one of the spouses, does not necessarily get handled at the time of the divorce. In order to facilitate that transfer, the spouse who is giving up rights in the apartment can execute a “power of attorney", designating the other spouse to act for such party in connection with the sale of the apartment. That power of attorney can also provide a direction to pay all net proceeds of the sale to the spouse who now owns the entire interest in the apartment. When such action is not taken at the time of the divorce and if the parties are not on cooperative terms (no pun intended), or if the spouse who gave up rights is not available, will not cooperate or is deceased, the process of getting authority to sell the apartment for the other spouse’s sole benefit can get complicated. That complexity could involve going back to court to order the other spouse to comply with the terms of the settlement. Such a process can be time consuming and costly. If the real estate is not transferred at the time the divorce is finalized, transferring title to a third party at some point in the future can get significantly delayed. Until the transferring spouse is lined up to execute the required closing documentation, the closing will not take place.