A New York Supreme Court Order of May 18, 2021 ordered that pending the litigation of the divorce the parties martial townhouse must be sold. This matter was appealed. The issue that was presented on appeal was whether the parties had consented to the sale of the townhouse.
The general rule is before the parties are granted a divorce, the court may not direct the sale of marital property held by the husband and wife unless the parties agree to the sale.
Appellate Court Reverses Order of Sale
In this case the Appellate Court found the Supreme Court should not have ordered the parties townhouse to be sold. There were preliminary discussions between the parties with regard to the sale of the marital property. However the parties could not reach an agreement with regard to the terms of the sale. The parties had not agreed to the listing amount or other conditions related to the sale of the parties townhouse. The Supreme Court inappropriately adopted the Husband’s proposed order with slight revisions and rejected the Wife’s preconditions to the sale of the parties townhouse. In addition, the court added its own conditions to the transaction.
The law in New York is clear. Martial assets, such as the marital residence, cannot be ordered to be sold prior to the court granting a divorce unless the parties stipulate and agree to do this.