"I get half the proceeds don't I ?" asked the divorcing Seller

Real Estate Agent with EXP Realty 414-525-0563 57026-90 Broker

    Wisconsin is a marital or what is sometimes called a community property state. Nationally, there are only nine states with this status including :: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Washington and Alaska is an "opt-in community property state"  where both parties have the option to make their property community property. Map of community property statesThis means that property and other assets acquired during the marriage with the exception of inheritances and gifts not co-mingled is the property of both spouses.    

       If one spouse inherits money and chooses to buy a sports car titled only in their name...it is solely their own car. If that inheritance is used to pay off a house owned jointly, the funds have been co-mingleDivorce divided housed and are marital property.

        When divorcing couples sell a home, the assumption by each spouse, is that each will get half the proceeds of the sale.  Many times, that may be true.   As the only Realtors in Wisconsin certified in divorce...we know that everything has to be "third party and legally verified" before any money changes hands in a real estate transaction and there can be no "assumption" that proceeds are divided equally.  There may be other considerations for property division including other assets....stock, other income or vacation property, personal property, pensions and retirement accounts that  are also divided and may mean that the proceeds from the house are not 50/50 in light of other asset division. asset divisionThe division also applies to debt and expenses be it credit card balances,  college expenses, insurance and medical expenses, etc.  The entire financial picture must be evaluated, and as importantly, agreed to by both parties.

     The sale of marital property can take place during the divorce or after the divorce is final.  Whenever the property closes, it is required that there either be a court order or mutually signed legal agreement that determines the percentage of proceeds for each spouse.  If a divorce is question marknot complete, both lawyers may schedule a settlement conference to reach agreement on property division.


      What if an agreement is NOT

reached when the house is sold ?

    In the event that parties cannot agree,  we instruct one of the attorneys to give us a letter with the name of their firm's trust account and the money will be held (much like earnest money) until there is mutual agreement or court ruling for distribution of the funds.

    If you or anyone you know is divorcing in southeastern Wisconsin including the counties of: Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Walworth, Jefferson and Dodge...Call the Hansons...the ONLY Realtors certified in traditional and collaborative divorce, honored to be of service.



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

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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Uglier Roger. D. Mucci ...emotions run very high and there is "no place to put them" for some people....sometimes the lawyere and realtors get the brunt of the anger....

Jul 02, 2015 08:28 PM #2
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Sally.  So if they can't agree the money goes into an escrow account and a judge decides?

Jul 02, 2015 08:43 PM #3
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Yes Contrad Allen...or sometimes when tempes have cooled and calmer heads prevail, a settlement conerence can reach a mutually agreebale conclusion.

Jul 02, 2015 08:46 PM #4
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Sally. You bring up something very important. When we do mortgages for clients that get divorced in other states, we always need to make sure that the agreement fits into what we are attempting to do for a mortgage.

Jul 02, 2015 08:53 PM #5
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Sally. Another reason I don't go after those clients.  I really don't know of any agents around here that specialize in that like you do

Jul 02, 2015 09:12 PM #6
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Things can be confusing indeed.  This is why it pays to invest in a realtor certified in divorce...and of course have a good divorce lawyer.  Glad those in Waukesha can call the Hansons.

Jul 02, 2015 09:21 PM #7
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Incredibly helpful information for consumers who find themselves in this situation, Sally. When needed, The Hanson's are available to assist with their real estate needs.

Jul 02, 2015 09:37 PM #8
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

For those in the unfortunate situation of divorce and selling their home in Wisconsin.  You are the ones that should be called.

Jul 02, 2015 09:51 PM #9
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Sally K. & David L. Hanson ,

Excellent information..with a 50% divorce rate everyone should be reading your posts and calling you if they find themselves in a divorce and selling property!

Jul 02, 2015 10:18 PM #10
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Sally and David. This is clearly a complicated thing and people in your area would be well served by dealing with you.

Jul 02, 2015 10:20 PM #11
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

This is a great niche that the two of you are in. Such a difficult time and so many conflicted stories...

Jul 02, 2015 10:48 PM #12
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Sally I remember 15 years ago in real estate school when I asked a question about marital property.  The "professor, lol" said to me "where the hell are you from? we follow the money, period".

Jul 03, 2015 12:27 AM #13
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Lots of things Chris and Dick Dovorany were different in the "olden days"....ie before No Fault when Private Detectives had their Hay Day in photography !

Jul 03, 2015 12:30 AM #14
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

It's good to know these WI rules and when it comes to Real Estate Property, Divorce and Real Estate Settlements, you not only rock - you rule!!!

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend my friends!!!

Jul 03, 2015 04:46 AM #15
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

I was wondering this the other day how many states are community property states, or what you call marital states. I always thought California was unique because of this but am surprised there are not more community property states than only 10. This is a timely post, thanks for sharing your knowledge, and wish you continued success. Divorce is not easy and it's expensive.

Jul 03, 2015 05:20 AM #16
Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou


Interesting to see the community property laws are mostly for those living in the southwestern states.  Your map was most helpful!  I am thankful for the community property laws here.  I know quite a few stay-at-home moms who've found themselves alone , and they needed that equitable split of community property to help them start a new chapter in life!

Jul 03, 2015 05:39 AM #17
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Nice try... you make good points on what the expectations should be.

Jul 03, 2015 06:15 AM #18
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sally and David divorcing couples in these states need to understand what you have provided in this blog.  It is not as simple as 50/50.

Jul 03, 2015 06:32 AM #19
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Good information and hopefully will make couples try to fix their marriage if at all possible.  Have a happy and safe July 4th.

Jul 03, 2015 01:37 PM #20
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Sally K. & David L. Hanson - complicated information and yes, they do need to seek the legal help to resolve the issues!

Happy 4th July....

Jul 03, 2015 02:57 PM #21
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson

WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce
For All Things Wisconsin Real Estate...Call the Hansons
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