Can I Sell the Family Home During a Divorce?

In Arizona, marital assets are subject to equitable division. When the family home is a contested issue, or you cannot afford the payments any longer, you may wonder if you can sell the family home during a pending divorce case. If your spouse agrees to the sale, you have the right to sell that home. However, if they contest the sale, you legally cannot unless the Court directs you to do so.

Why Can You Not Sell a Home During a Pending Divorce?

Preliminary Injunctions filed with the initial Petition for Dissolution of Marriage bar you from selling marital assets. The Injunction specifically states that parties cannot sell, distribute, transfer, destroy or encumber marital assets in any way. Therefore, without a court order, you cannot sell the home during your divorce if your spouse contests it.

The Consequences of Selling Your Home During a Pending Divorce

If you sold the home during your divorce, it becomes a matter of contempt of court. Your spouse might file a request for contempt for your violation of the court order. The judge uses his or her discretion and may issue sanctions and penalties.

Things to Consider if You and Your Spouse Put the House on the Market During the Divorce

If you and your spouse agree that the house should be sold during the dissolution process, there are several things to consider as you set out on the process:

  • Selection of a Realtor: The parties need to agree on a realtor.  This may be someone one or both parties know and trust, or it may be someone unknown to the parties out in the community.
  • Improvements to the House: It may be necessary to make improvements to your house before it can be sold.  Seek the advice of your realtor as to what is necessary or appropriate.  The parties should be in agreement on the work to be done, and by whom, and how the payment for the services will be handled.
  • Sale Price/Negotiations: The parties have to agree on a list price, any changes in price, and for what price the residence ultimately sells.
  • Payments for Mortgage and Upkeep: The parties also need to be on the same page about how the expenses of the residence will be maintained while it is on the market.  Will one party pay?  Will both parties contribute and in what amount?  Who will live in it, if anyone, while the listing is pending?

Speak with a divorce attorney from Udall Shumway, PLC to understand your options with a family home.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Sell the Family Home, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Sheri D. Shepard at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.