Whether you purchased a family home during your marriage or invested in properties for your business, real estate properties can be among the most valuable assets you own. As a result, dividing these properties can be one of the most contentious aspects of property division. What should people in Virginia know about dividing real estate holdings during their divorce?
What are your options if the court will divide your real estate?
If your marital estate includes real estate, you have the opportunity to choose the option that best fits your finances and your needs. Generally, you have three options when dividing real estate in divorce: allow one spouse to move forward as the sole owner of the property, sell the property or continue as co-owners.
Selling your real estate and dividing the proceeds can be one of the most straightforward options available, especially if your family home is the only property you own. However, this option depends on your ability to sell the property in a timely fashion. You may find your divorce delayed by finalizing the sale, or you may need to accept a lower offer to move forward with your divorce.
If one spouse wants to move forward as the sole owner of the property, they will likely need to forego other assets of a similar value to create a fair resolution. If you and your spouse own multiple properties, this may mean dividing ownership of those properties between spouses. It is also important to consider whether the spouse who wants to own the property qualifies to refinance the mortgage.
Finally, both spouses may choose to move forward as co-owners. This can allow both spouses to benefit from an investment property or to delay a sale or refinancing until they reach a better financial situation. However, if you will co-own your property, you may need to carefully outline your responsibilities for maintenance and other details.
No matter which option you choose, making sound financial decisions about the fate of your property may depend on seeking experienced guidance. Appraisers, financial professionals and experienced attorneys can all offer insight into the value of your property and the best way to protect your financial health during property division.