If you are getting divorced and own a home with your former spouse, likely one of the biggest issues you’ll face when dividing your assets involves deciding who gets the family home. Unlike assets like bank accounts, retirement accounts, or items you own, the family home is not so easily divided. When it comes to deciding what should happen to your real estate during divorce, you and your former spouse may have several options. First, you may be able to sell the home and split the proceeds. Or, you may be able to buy out your partner’s share or take over the mortgage. For couples with significant assets or property, the family home might be one of many properties or assets that can be divided in a divorce agreement. Other couples might choose to continue to co-own the home or bird-nest in the home, which is an arrangement where the children remain in the home and the parents move into the home during their custody time. Regardless of the choice you and your former spouse make, it is important to discuss and understand your options with a qualified divorce attorney in Yuma, Arizona first. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. is a divorce attorney in Yuma, Arizona who can help you divide your assets in divorce, including assets with as much emotional weight invested as the family home.
Is the Home Shared Property or Separate Property?
One of the first questions your divorce lawyer will need to ask is whether the family home is shared property or separately-owned property. Shared property is generally any property you and your partner purchased together after your marriage. Separate property is generally any property each person purchased before the marriage with funds earned before the marriage began.
Where things can become unclear is where one partner may have purchased property before the marriage, and then later both partners contributed to the home, either by both assisting with paying for a mortgage or making improvements to the home. If one partner owned the property before the marriage, but then added his or her spouse’s name to the deed, the property may be considered among the marital assets. Do you know whether your home is considered separate property or is considered community property in Arizona? Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are divorce lawyers in Yuma, Arizona who can help you determine which assets are shared and which are separate.
Splitting Assets, Including the Family Home During Your Yuma, Arizona Divorce
If you and your partner have significant wealth, you may be able to consider your home among your many assets. For example, if you own multiple properties and these properties are considered community property, it may be possible to work out a divorce agreement where one partner gets the family home and the other partner gets other properties or assets. If you have savings accounts, investment accounts, or other assets, one partner can get the family home while the other partner may be able to receive other assets.
When making decisions about dividing property, it is important to consider the tax implications of the items you are dividing. When it comes to divorce settlements, some accounts and assets are more valuable than others. If you need assistance with deciding who gets the family home and with dividing your community property during divorce, consider speaking to Schneider & Onofry, P.C., a divorce lawyer in Yuma, Arizona today.
Buying Out Your Partner or Assuming Responsibility for the Mortgage
Another option you might have if you are getting divorced is buying out your partner’s share of the home or taking over the mortgage. Sometimes one partner may refinance the entire mortgage in his her or name. In order to buy your partner’s share of the home, you may need to get an appraisal of the property. The value of the property shouldn’t be the only consideration in who gets the family home. The partner who wants to keep the family home should also evaluate whether he or she can afford to maintain the home as a single person. While your family home may have emotional memories attached to it, sometimes it may not always make financial sense for one or either partner to take full responsibility for the home on their own. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are divorce attorneys in Yuma, Arizona who can help you make wise decisions when choosing what to do with the family home.
Selling the Family Home
Because in many cases, both partners’ contributions were essential to paying the mortgage on a family home, many divorcing couples simply choose to sell. When deciding what to do with real estate, especially real estate where you built your life and had children, it can be tough to separate emotions from making a wise financial decision. This is where having a divorce lawyer like Schneider & Onofry, P.C. on your side can make a world of difference. Selling property can be stressful enough under the best of circumstances. But when divorce is in the mix, it can be helpful to have a divorce attorney guide you through the process. Contact the divorce lawyer at Schneider & Onofry, P.C., in Yuma, Arizona today to learn more.
Co-Ownership and Bird Nesting in the Family Home
If the value of your home has declined or the market it on a downward trend, some couples might choose to not sell the family home before or during their divorce. If you plan to keep your family home, but one partner can’t buy out the other, or one partner alone cannot maintain the home, sometimes couples simply choose co-ownership of the family home as an option. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are divorce lawyers in Yuma, Arizona who can work you through creating a divorce agreement that very specifically lays out each party’s responsibilities when it comes to co-owning a family home.
Some couples might choose to rent out the home and use the proceeds to pay the mortgage, while others may both continue to live in the home. One arrangement, known as bird-nesting, is when the children remain in the family home, and both parents split time living in the home. Both parents in this case may usually have separate apartments, or a smaller apartment they share and each live in when they are not enjoying parenting time with the children.
There are many options when it comes to deciding what to do with the family home, from co-ownership to selling to dividing assets in a way that fairly considers both partner’s contributions to the marriage. If you are facing the challenge of deciding what to do with your family home during divorce, or if you know what you want to do and have questions about how to move forward legally, contact Schneider & Onofry, P.C. today. Our attorneys may be able to assist you.