Gina Kirschenheiter, one of two new cast members this season on “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” and her husband, Matthew, have decided to divorce, and sell their Coto de Caza house. What goes into the decision to sell the marital home?
Real Trouble in OC
They may live in the lap of luxury, but life isn’t always perfect for the women who reside in one of the wealthiest enclaves of the U.S. The real housewives of OC may continue to focus on living large; plastic surgery, working out, shopping, drinking, and dancing, but real life sometimes intrudes.
The Bravo TV personality filed for divorce from Matthew Kirschenheiter claiming irreconcilable differences. She’s seeking sole physical custody and joint legal custody of their three children, ages 2-5, as well as spousal support.
Once you’ve decided to divorce, new decisions need to be made: who is going to move out of the house, and are you going to sell the house – or not. Florida’s property division statute requires distributing the marital property but is not exactly a how-to guide.
Deciding Whether to Sell
There’s really no right or wrong answer to whether you should sell or keep a house. Your decision will depend on various factors.
Some of the factors influencing the decision to sell are things like your personality, is the house titled in both of your names, are there children, if so, where are the best schools, and how far away are the two parents’ homes.
I’ve written about houses and property divisions before. In every Florida divorce proceeding the court has to set apart nonmarital property and distribute the marital property.
Florida judges always begin with the premise that the property distribution should be equal, unless there is a reason for an unequal distribution based on several factors.
One of the factors the court has to consider is the desirability of keeping the home for the kids or a spouse, if it’s equitable to do so, if it’s in the best interest of the child, and financially feasible.
There are problems with keeping a house in which your name is still on title. If your real ex-spouse doesn’t pay the mortgage timely, your credit will suffer. And, if someone invited to your old home is hurt, the injured person will sue the record title owners for damages. If your name is on title as an owner, that’s you! Making sure you keep insurance on the house may be required.
A fresh start and new beginning after a complete division of all of the assets tying you together with your Ex is the best way to go forward for some people.
The Real Housewives couple bought the house in 24-hour, guard-gated Coto de Caza in April 2016 for $840,000, property records show. The gourmet kitchen includes Viking appliances, wooden cabinets and a breakfast nook. There’s also a landscaped backyard with a lawn and barbecue area. The house has a three-car garage and is within walking distance of a community park.
The Mercury News article is here.