In a divorce, dividing marital property can be one of the more difficult and time-consuming parts of the process. Real estate is often a highly-disputed asset as it is usually the most valuable shared property.
There are two general categories of real estate: residential and commercial. Each requires a slightly different approach when dividing property in a divorce.
Residential property is the most common type of real estate shared in a marriage. This includes the house that served as your primary residence as well as any vacation homes or second properties acquired during the marriage. If neither you nor your spouse wants to continue to reside in the home, selling it and dividing the profit equitably is a common solution. In cases where one of you wants to keep the real estate and the other does not, the continuing owner usually buys out the other party. However, if you cannot reach an agreement on the division of residential property, a judge will decide. There may be additional complicating factors when considering the division of residential property, such as; out of state property, rental properties or income generating properties, titled with another family friend of business partner. It is important to know your rights when considering all of these different factors. We can assist you in understanding those rights and discuss with you, your goals related to those properties.
If you jointly own commercial real estate, such as rental units or other investment properties, asset division can become more complex. The options are similar to those for dividing residential real estate, but the valuation of these assets takes into account income earned from the property, like a business. Remember, dividing marital property must be equitable. Negotiating how to split investment property income early in the divorce can expedite the overall asset division process.
As noted, with both types of properties it important to understand your options when it comes to real estate in a divorce. We would be happy to discuss your goals, explain options to ensure that this potentially contentious aspect of the process goes as smoothly as possible.