Monday, August 4, 2014

Co-op Board’s and Divorces

The New York Times Real Estate Q&A

Q. What is a co-op board’s responsibility when a divorcing couple makes a request to transfer the shares from husband and wife to just the husband’s name?

A. Divorces are frequently messy affairs, and a co-op board can easily get dragged into the drama. So, when dealing with divorce, tread carefully. Just as most divorcing couples need a lawyer, a co-op board would be wise to enlist its lawyers, too.

“By definition it gets tricky,” said Arthur Weinstein, a real estate lawyer who has represented many co-ops dealing with warring spouses.

If a couple wants to transfer jointly held shares to one spouse, the board should require that the couple provide a financial disclosure statement to show that the remaining spouse can still afford to pay the maintenance. This may require the divorce decree and supporting documents. If the spouse does not have adequate resources, the board could require that additional money be set aside in escrow or ask the former spouse to provide a guarantee.

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