Divorces are already loaded with emotion, hurt and usually frustration. Just to add some extra stress, immovable property that forms part of a joint estate, can lead to excessive fisticuffs.

Numerous divorce orders are being granted on a daily basis, merely stating “Division of the Joint Estate”. Should this be the case, the consequence of this order is that the immovable property should be sold and the proceeds divided between the parties, alternatively one of the parties must purchase the other parties half share in the property. An order such as the one above, has left many divorcees extremely frustrated. The frustration usually stems from one of the exes, refusing or delaying the sale of the property, or being unable to purchase the others half share. This inherently leads to the the occupying ex staying in occupation at the expense of the other spouse.

It is therefore paramount that the settlement agreement stipulates:

  • by when the property should be sold,
  • who is allowed to remain in occupation of the property,
  • when the occupying party should vacate the property, and
  • who will be liable for the costs relating thereto.

It is also common practice that the party who obtains the half share interest in the property pay the costs relating thereto. The parties can however agree to a different arrangement regarding costs.

This may sound like an idiotic or rather unemotional, attorney fuelled, life lesson, but should one ever get divorced, these are the things one needs to keep in mind and discuss with your advisor. The frustration, or rather emotional turmoil after the divorce can actually be shortened dramatically by getting the correct advice before the time. Be smart, make the right choice and implement same.

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