Divorce Real Estate

Specializing in Divorce, Partition Actions and other contested matters dealing with Real Estate (Trusts and Probates)

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Betty Fernandez


Real Estate Collaborative Specialist -Divorce REALTOR
Certified Residential Appraiser (2002-2010)

Working with a Court Appointed Receiver gave me a unique insight into how difficult things can turn out when a couple is going through a divorce and they cannot agree on the sale of the house.


When the couple cannot agree on selling the house, the Judge will assign a Court Appointed Receiver to oversee the disposition of the property. This includes making any and all decisions about the sale process, choosing a real estate agent, pricing, marketing, negotiation and signing all documents as the owner of the property.  This lack of control can be frustrating for the divorcing parties.

Additional costs: Court Appointed Receivers charge fees for their services too, which can eat into the proceeds of the property sale. These fees can be substantial, and couples may prefer to avoid them by handling the sale through a REALTOR specializing in Divorce.
When I was an active Real Estate Appraiser, I performed Appraisals for Divorce Cases and other matters where there are disputes between parties on real estate. I know how to review appraisals for errors and also subtract the commissions on the comparable sales to come up with the Net Value of the transfer price when one spouse is buying out the other.  This can be thousands of dollars in savings.
Obtaining inspections on the property before a buy-out or listing a property for sale is extremely beneficial. I suggest a General Home Inspection, Wood Destroying Pest Inspection, Sewer Lateral (if necessary) and any other inspection that might be required on your property.
Then we will obtain estimates to divide the costs if there is a buy-out or make the repairs or just disclose the condition to the buyers. This approach also makes it easier to price the property and there are less potential for hiccups in the middle of the transaction.
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They don’t tell you about!

Imagine finding out that you could have shared the expense of repairing items in your home – the roof, the heating, the plumbing – before you released your spouse from liability. Now it’s too late and you are responsible for all the repairs and the bills that should have been equally divided before finalizing your divorce. Would you like to save thousands of dollars, eliminate huge problems and equalize the division of your property?

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Major property settlement mistakes can be prevented during the divorce by having an RCS-D Realtor work with you. 

By working with me, I will net you more money whether one party wants to keep the house or sell it. 

  •  Because her EX kept the house, one woman was dragged into bankruptcy after his mortgage refinance application was denied post-divorce and their joint mortgage then foreclosed.
  • One man discovered his EX’s $216,700 pre-marital debt became HIS debt post-divorce as a lien recorded during the marriage against title to the house he kept.
  • Even a REALTOR learned paying off home equity debt didn’t cancel the account. Her EX “maxed” it out with $25,000 debt secured by the house she kept!
  • Because she kept the house, one woman had to pay $12,000 of her EX’s attorney’s fees – even with a property settlement “hold harmless” provision!
  • During their divorce, the husband was living in the house for the last two years. After the house sold, the buyer received a cancellation notice from the buyer’s insurance company because the seller committed insurance fraud. The husband didn’t disclose the damage and forged his wife’s name and deposited the $17,000 check into a bank account that he didn’t reveal to the court.

Protect your post-divorce credit score and your family’s financial future . . . Whether you keep the house or sell it.

Warning: Damaged credit, foreclosure or even bankruptcy caused by joint mortgage debt or liability from undiscovered liens CANNOT be fixed AFTER your divorce.

So, you must protect yourself during the early stages of divorce. The disposition of your home can present a challenge for which there are no clear-cut answers in California property settlement laws to guide you through the division of real estate property, which is often the most valuable marital asset. You need an expert.

Did you know? The property division in a divorce is final and you can never undo it – even if you realize later that you made a mistake.

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Determine Equity – Don’t Rely on the Appraisal
Currently, the loans secured by the property are subtracted from the appraised value of your home. This is how they calculate the equity. When you buy-out your spouse’s share of the equity to refinance your home, this is the number that is used! The appraisal does NOT include a thorough investigation of the condition of the property which could be hiding thousands of dollars in pending repairs and maintenance issues.

Spouse Keeping the House
When you buy a property, you always get a home inspection and termite inspection, so why wouldn’t you get one now during your divorce? A buyer will renegotiate the price or have the work done BEFORE buying the property and is fully aware of the property’s condition.

This option has not been offered to the spouse wanting to keep the house.

When you work with me, I will perform essential real estate due diligence to easily obtain evidence of your actual house value; because getting an appraisal and subtracting the mortgage does not determine the equity in your property.

When you fight to keep the house make sure you are not giving up your financial security in exchange for a house you won’t be able to afford in the long run. After working with me you will be able to determine if keeping the house is in your best interests.

Spouse Leaving the House
Until the Spouse keeping the house refinances the loan, you are equally responsible for the mortgage payment. This will keep you from being able to move on with your life and buy another property.

Finding out the condition of the property is also important for you because it will eliminate any additional expenses and unknown maintenance issues to the other spouse, which may prevent them from paying the mortgage on time, thus affecting your credit months after you’ve moved out!

Discover critical mistakes in divorce real estate beyond the scope of appraisals – preventable during divorce but NOT fixable after.

To prevent major real estate mistakes, use due diligence. Gather information and investigate, using real estate and financial professionals who are trained to protect you during divorce.

Today, divorcing couples have the benefit of divorce-trained real estate teams which will work collaboratively with therapists, attorneys and financial consultants to help them through one of the most emotionally difficult stages of life.

As an RCS-D Realtor, the thousands of dollars I can save you will bring you peace of mind throughout your entire divorce process.

Neutralizing Divorce Real Estate in the best interest of the house – and each divorcing spouse.

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