Distribution of Marital Home and Other Real Estate
Lawyers Experienced in Property Division Matters
When a couple chooses to divorce, one person may move out of the marital home. However, there are instances in which the parties remain under the same roof until the case is done. As with other assets, the marital home is property, which will ultimately need to be dealt with as relates to final possession and division of any equity. In some cases, spouses own multiple real estate properties, whether rental homes, vacation homes, or commercial real estate. As the couple works through their issues to come to a divorce settlement agreement, each spouse’s economic position will become clearer. In some cases, a couple may find that neither spouse wants to keep the marital home alone and that it may make sense to sell it. In other cases, the couple may decide that the custodial parent should stay in the house with the children until they are grown, at which point the home should be sold. It is often challenging to determine the distribution of the marital home and other real estates. You should consult an experienced Denver marital property division lawyer about your rights and options related to your marital real estate.
Understanding the Distribution of the Marital Home and Other Real Estate
Colorado courts divide marital property, including real estate, equitably, or according to what is fair, rather than precisely equally. When dealing with real estate in a divorce, there are generally two outcomes. Either one spouse is going to keep the home or the home is going to be sold. In either scenario, the marital equity in the home will need to be divided. As such, the first step is to determine whether the real estate is martial, whether all or part of it. For instance, one party may own the home prior to the divorce. Presuming the home is not subsequently titled jointly, the equity to be divided will be any increase that accrued during the course of the marriage and how the home is titled will not matter. This holds true for any real estate owned prior to the marriage.
In most cases, however, a couple acquires the marital home, or other real estate properties, together, during the marriage. If the parties elect to sell the home as part of the divorce process, the value will generally be dictated by the market and the price for which the home sells. In those instances, the parties will either agree on how to divide the proceeds or the court will ultimately decide.
In instances in which one party is going to keep the home, the two issues to be resolved are the division of the equity and removing the second party from the financing, presuming the mortgage is in both parties’ names. For purposes of determining equity, your attorney will suggest either getting a formal appraisal done, or hiring a real estate agent to conduct a comparable market analysis. Both methods can be used to determine the fair value and either valuator may end up testifying in court as an expert witness. Once value is determined, outstanding debt on the property and any non-marital intricacies will need to be dealt with to arrive at the martial equity. Unless there are other offsetting assets, the person keeping the home will likely have to refinance to pull equity out for the other spouse. When the mortgage is in both parties’ names, there will likely also be orders or agreements entered regarding removing the other spouse from the financing within a certain amount of time.
There are many details and potential pitfalls that can come with dividing real estate in a divorce. An experienced Denver family law attorney will not only be ready to advise you regarding your options but will also be there to represent you when the time comes to resolve your real estate issues in your divorce.
Retain an Experienced Property Division Attorney in the Denver Area
At Plog & Stein, P.C., we carefully protect the interests of our clients in connection with the distribution of the marital home and other real estates. Our lawyers are able to help you evaluate the property, mapped up with your goals and what is important to you. We provide careful and tenacious advocacy to help our clients at all stages of the divorce process, including settlement discussions and at trial. Our retainer rates are competitive. Contact Plog & Stein at (303) 781-0322 or via our online form for an appointment. We also represent people who need a divorce attorney in Aurora, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, and Castle Rock, as well as other areas of Denver, Douglas, and Arapahoe Counties.