When spouses choose to end their marriage through divorce, they will need to address and resolve multiple different financial issues. During the process of dividing marital assets, real estate property owned by either or both spouses will be one of the key issues to consider, since these are likely to be some of the most valuable assets a couple owns. In addition to determining how to handle ownership of their marital home, couples may also need to consider other properties they own, such as vacation homes or commercial properties. To ensure that these assets are addressed properly, it is important to work with an experienced divorce lawyer, as well as other experts who can perform appraisals of property and provide guidance about financial decisions.
Factors to Consider When Dividing Real Estate and Other Marital Property
If a couple’s marital home or any other piece of real estate property was acquired during their marriage, it will usually be considered a marital asset that will need to be divided along with other property. However, even if real estate was owned by one spouse before getting married, it may be converted from separate property into marital property if both spouses used the property, made improvements, or contributed to mortgage payments and other expenses related to the home. In some cases, a spouse who owns real estate that is considered separate property may be required to repay the other spouse for their contributions to increased property values or equity in the home.
Divorcing spouses may sell their marital home and divide the proceeds from the sale, or one spouse may retain ownership of the home, while the other spouse receives other marital property of a similar value. When selling real estate property, spouses should be sure to understand whether capital gains taxes will apply to the profits they earn. If one spouse will own the home, the mortgage will usually need to be refinanced, and the other spouse will need to be removed from the home’s title and deed. A spouse who plans to maintain sole ownership of their home should be sure they will have the financial resources to make mortgage payments and pay other ongoing expenses, including utilities, maintenance, and property taxes.
In some cases, spouses may choose to maintain joint ownership of a home or other real estate property after getting divorced. This type of arrangement may be beneficial if a couple has children who wish to continue living in the same community and attending the same schools. Parents may choose to use a “birdnesting” arrangement, in which they each maintain separate residences while staying in the home with their children during their parenting time. However, maintaining joint ownership of real estate is generally not advised, since it may lead to problems in the future if either spouse encounters financial difficulties or plans to purchase another home.
Contact Our Naperville Property Division Lawyers
If you need to determine how to handle real estate property during your divorce, the lawyers of Calabrese Associates, P.C. can answer your questions, advise you of your options, and work with you to negotiate a divorce settlement that will meet your needs. To learn more about how we can help you resolve divorce-related issues successfully, contact our DuPage County divorce attorneys by calling 630-393-3111.