Divorce occurs more often than people plan. This lack of plan often leads to arguments about how to split property and other assets in the midst of separation and divorce. Most married couples are not prepared to divide shared assets when the time comes.
The most confusing part of a divorce settlement involves property division between the spousal parties. Divorce is rarely easy, but having a clear idea of your financial situation and property value in the divorce puts you and your spouse on better footing to have an easier divorce. Here are a few tips on divorce property settlement from knowing your financial obligations to acquiring the help you may need along the way.
Legal and financial complexities of property and divorce
No matter how long the marriage, divorce can involve many complicated legal and financial concerns. This is especially true concerning marital assets like property. If divorce and property division issues arise, then it is necessary to know your financial options and responsibilities. Getting a clear picture of your assets can help the overall process of division of property in divorce.
Know that liabilities associated with your property still count during divorce. Your home mortgage is a liability because it is considered a debt that will still have to be paid when you and your spouse are no longer together. Do not forget about any liens against the property or home. You will have to settle any liens before selling the property regardless of who obtains the residence.
Remember that you could still be held liable for any remaining financial responsibility in your name even if you agree to your spouse keeping the property.
Understand how you will settle financial obligations before signing any papers releasing the property to your spouse. If both parties decide to sell the real estate during divorce, then know that any taxes, credits and insurance obligations should be resolved during the divorce property settlement. Financial obligation disputes are the quickest way to have a messy divorce settlement process, so check all of the necessary items before proceeding with any final decisions. If your situation is confusing for whatever reason, then it is wise to consult an experienced divorce or real estate attorney to help you understand the next steps in dividing property during a divorce. An attorney can also help you understand the property division laws specific to your state.
Is your real estate marital or premarital?
A key factor in dividing assets during a divorce is whether or not you acquired the asset pre-marriage or post-marriage. Did you or your spouse purchase this property before signing the dotted line to wed? If the real estate asset in question belonged to you before the nuptials, then it will be easier for you to retain the property during the divorce settlement process. Adversely, if the property was an asset of your spouse’s before the marriage or if you both purchased the property together, then it will be more difficult to retain singular ownership of the property during the divorce property settlement.
If both parties purchased the property, then the party with the most financial contribution could be considered more heavily over the other. Whatever the case, this is often a complicated situation. There are various steps to take to improve the situation for you and your spouse, but avoiding the dispute altogether is the most ideal occurrence.
How to avoid a dispute with your spouse in a divorce property settlement
No one wants a divorce to be more difficult than it has to be. Taking your ex-spouse to court can be a long, tedious, and costly process. If possible, it is best to avoid a property dispute that goes to court during your divorce. If both parties can proceed amicably with a solution, then the situation becomes much easier. Options during the division of property in divorce include:
- Consulting with a counselor. Getting help from a counselor may help you and your spouse get on the same page which can ultimately make the divorce process less messy. This is actually even required in some states.
- Hiring a mediator. An unbiased professional to help you discuss your property division options during a divorce is often a great idea.
- Dividing the property 50/50. Discussing this with a mediator or attorney is the best option when dividing property down the middle with a soon-to-be ex. If the real estate is decided to be sold, then a mediator can help you divide the proceeds between you and your spouse.
- Buying out your spouse. It is often an option for one spouse to buy-out the other spouse during a divorce property settlement. A real estate appraisal may be necessary for this option, and it is often best to set one up through a mediator to avoid dispute. It is important to remember previous financial responsibilities that may be associated with your name if this is an option you and your spouse are considering.
Help during a divorce property settlement
If it comes down to this, and unfortunately it often does, then you may need to hire a real estate or divorce attorney. Hiring an Arkansas expert real estate witness to help you win your property disagreement during a divorce can help greatly, because you will have to prove to a judge why you should retain the property as opposed to your spouse. Divorce and property are complicated matters. If you need an expert real estate attorney, then contact Ferstl Valuation Services today for a referral.