When you’re going through a divorce, real estate is an enormous part of the division of assets. A real estate expert witness should be able to provide valuable insight during a legal hearing.
Going through a divorce is never easy. Often, emotions run high, and there are disputes over the division of assets between two divorcing parties. For individuals who own a home together while going through the process of divorce, the legal ramifications can be an added burden.
Most commonly, there are disputes about who should retain possession of the home and how much money one party should have to pay to “buy out” the other party. For issues involving disputes over divorce and real estate division, there are a few guidelines worth keeping in mind.
Marital Asset or Premarital Asset?
One key factor that will likely have a large impact on the outcome of a divorce and real estate division dispute is whether the property was a marital or premarital asset. For example, a home that was purchased by one party prior to the marriage may be considered a premarital asset, and that party will likely have an easier time retaining the home as an asset after divorce.
On the other hand, a marital asset (such as a home that the married couple purchased together) can complicate legal matters. In such cases, it may boil down to who contributed more towards payments on the home, though there are a number of other factors that must also be taken into consideration.
Advice for Avoiding a Dispute
Those going through a divorce should make every effort to avoid a real estate dispute that goes to court, as this can lead to a long and costly legal process that requires a judge to make a decision. One of the best ways to avoid a legal dispute is to sell the home and divide the earnings from the sale equally between the two of you.
For this approach to work, it’s best to agree ahead of time on exactly how the money will be divided. Will it be split 50/50, or will another agreement be reached? A mediator can often be helpful here.
If one party is interested in keeping the home, it’s often possible for one party to “buy out” the other to keep the home. To reach a fair buyout price, you can have an appraisal performed and pay half the value of the home. To avoid dispute, arrange the residential appraisal through a mediator or lawyer.
Leaving the Decision to a Judge
If an agreement cannot be reached amicably, it may be necessary to hire a real estate or divorce attorney to represent you. You may also be required to testify in court and make a case as to why you should retain ownership of your home. A real estate expert witness is often beneficial in these cases because they provide unbiased testimony about the value of your home based on facts and statistical data.
If you have questions about divorce and real estate division in Arkansas, contact Ferstl Valuation Services at 501.313.0641 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced appraisers.