People say that your biggest purchase in life is your house and chances are that’s true… unless you own a soccer team and just bought a super yacht. But with such a big purchase comes big problems: who gets it when you get divorced? There are a lot of assets to divvy up in a divorce and the house will be the biggest one for the vast majority of people. Now, if you’re concerned about who’s going to get what, read this quick guide to working out real estate assets in the event of a divorce.
Who the House Belongs to
This is actually harder to answer than you might think, as it can change over time. You might be thinking that if you bought the house before you even met your future ex-wife or husband than it will still be yours in the event of a divorce, but you would be wrong. There are some circumstances that will mean that the house will change from a pre-marital asset to a marital asset:
· If your spouse moved into the house with you and you lived there as a couple or family. This will mean the house will become a marital asset and your spouse will be entitled to 50% of it in the divorce.
· Maybe you didn’t move into it and have more than one property that you rent out. If that rent went into a joint bank account then it becomes a martial asset.
· If your new spouse ever contributed to a mortgage or loan on the property than once again it becomes a martial asset and they will have a viable claim once the divorce proceedings start.
So these are the main reasons why you may not be entitled to 100% of your property like you thought. Now if any of the above are true for you, read on as there are ways this situation can be sorted without too much pain and turmoil.
Fight or Flight
Firstly, you have to decide whether you want to fight for your right to the property or come to the easiest compromise. Many people in divorces become spiteful and so will hold on to any asset they can out of a simple desire to hurt their ex-partner. The easiest way for everyone is to simply sell the property and split the profits 50/50, or if one of you still wants to live at the property you get it appraised and then the leaving party receives 50% of the worth of the house. This is the easiest outcome, but as we know, humans are complicated creatures.
If you don’t agree to this or similar – say if one party bought 60% of the house and one bought 40% of the house originally then you both received that when you sell – then you will probably need to go to court, get some specialist lawyers like those from the Los Angeles LawTrek firm and let a judge decide. Usually, he will allow one party to receive more of the house if they sacrifice some of their other assets that they might cling to.
Between two rational adults, this process shouldn’t be too vile, but there will always be complications, but if you bear in mind what I’ve written, it might not be too horrible.