They say breaking up is hard to do. But it’s even harder when a couple seeking a split own a home. As a house obviously can’t be physically divided up 50/50 Solomon-style, it’s important to know what to expect regarding real estate matters during and following a divorce, say the experts. Your goal is to come to a mutual agreement with your spouse on how divvy up your assets, including your house, without having to go to court, which can be messy and expensive and result in one or both parties feeling shortchanged.

In the beginning of the process, David Bulitt, an attorney with Joseph Greenwald and Laake in Rockville, Maryland, recommends that each party should: Make a list of any real property (for example, the principal residence plus any vacation homes) that they and/or their spouse own. Determine whether your real property is:

Marital, meaning it was acquired by one or both parties during the marriage

Non-marital, meaning the property was brought into the marriage by one party or acquired through gift or inheritance Potentially a sort of hybrid, for example, if one spouse “gifted” the home to the other during marriage.

Locate the deed to these properties to learn how these properties are titled.

Gather any paperwork concerning loans — mortgage, home equity, etc., to review whose names are attached to the debt.

Next, it must be determined if the home will be sold or if one party wants to remain in the home, if able to. With the former option, if the home has a mortgage, monies from any equity accrued are usually split up equally after the home is sold and the lender is paid off. With the latter option, the spouse that remains usually has to buy out the other partner’s equity share, assume the mortgage (commonly done via a refinance), and then have the title signed over to him/her.

“If the party who wants to stay in the home cannot afford to refinance, special factors need to be considered,” says Rebecca Zung, a Naples, Florida, attorney. “That person can agree to be solely responsible for the mortgage payments, execute a hold harmless clause, and indemnify the other person if they don’t make the payments. This way, if the first party defaults on payments, the second party has the option of making the payments and thus can preserve his or her credit rating and not have to worry about the bank coming after him or her and will have recourse to get reimbursed from the defaulting party.”

Nathan Embrey, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Preferred Group in Cincinnati, notes that if the home is to be sold and there is not enough equity in the home to pay off the mortgage, both parties may want to pursue a short sale of the home. “Lenders consider divorce a valid hardship and will allow a short sale, which can minimize damage to credit and resolve the unsold property issue quicker,” says Embrey.

Other property settlement aspects also will need to be carefully strategized by both parties and their representatives. “Illustrate all settlement scenarios possible, and include all financial aspects, such as support issues, assets and liabilities including retirement plans, as well as the disposition of the matrimonial home,” says Vickie Adams, a certified financial planner and divorce analyst in San Pedro, California. “These include property equity, tax implications, and market conditions for possible sale, in addition to family living issues. “Divorce is usually not fair,” Adams adds.

“But once you are armed with all the financial facts, try to take a big picture view regarding your settlement. Decide what is most important to you, let your mediator or lawyer negotiate those items for you, and be prepared to let the rest go.”

More From Rebecca's Blog
Take Down the Narcissist Using this Magic Bullet (Leverage)

Take Down the Narcissist Using this Magic Bullet (Leverage)

Do you want to know what the Magic Bullet is when it comes to negotiating with a narcissist? When you are negotiating with a narcissist, it may feel impossible and seem like they always get away with things but when it seems like they do it is because we allow them...

read more
5 Things A Narcissist Won’t See Coming

5 Things A Narcissist Won’t See Coming

#1 – How Their Own Behavior Ends Up Hurting Them in The Long Run They’re very short sighted in how they behave. They lie all the time. They are very impulsive. They’re always in the moment about how they behave. They’re constantly gaslighting and using parts of truth...

read more
4 Assumptions Narcissists Have About You

4 Assumptions Narcissists Have About You

4 Assumptions Narcissists Have About You By Rebecca Zung, Esq.   Do you want to know the top four assumptions narcissists have made about you? Do you really know how these narcissists think about you? Whether you’re in a business or a personal relationship with...

read more
Narcissism 101: Word Salad

Narcissism 101: Word Salad

Have you ever of the term word salad when it comes to narcissists?  Narcissists use a variety of things to deflect anything from themselves and make sure that the other person thinks that they’re crazy.  They use gaslighting and all sorts of other techniques to...

read more
Previous
Next
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Instagram