Divorce and Your Home

Selling the House When You Divorce

One of the options you have to deal with the house during divorce is to sell it and divide the proceeds.

If neither spouse wants to stay in the family home, or if neither can afford to buy out the other, you can put the property on the market and try to get the best possible price for it. Keep in mind that before the sales proceeds can be divided, you’ll have to pay off the mortgage, any equity line or second mortgage, and the brokers’ fees. You’ll also have to pay any capital gains tax that might apply. These expenses are one disadvantage of selling, especially if market conditions aren’t good for sellers. Another disadvantage is the need to uproot the kids when they’re already adjusting to a lot of change.

How to Avoid Costly Housing Mistakes During and After a Divorce

Divorce is rarely easy and often means a lot of difficult decisions. One of the most important decisions is what to do about the house.

In the midst of the heavy emotional and financial turmoil, what you need most is some non-emotional, straightforward, specific information and answers. Once you know how a divorce affects your home, your mortgage and taxes, critical decisions are easier. Neutral, third party information can help you make logical, rather than emotional, decisions.

Probably the first decision is whether you want to continue living in the house. Will the familiar surroundings bring you comfort and emotional security, or unpleasant memories? Do you want to minimize change by staying where you are, or sell your home and move to a new place that offers a new start?

Only you can answer those questions, but there will almost certainly be some financial repercussions to your decision process. What can you afford? Can you manage the old house on your new budget? Is refinancing possible? Or is it better to sell and buy? How much house can you buy on your new budget?

To help you know what questions you should ask and how to arrive at the right answer for your specific situation, a FREE special report has been prepared by industry experts entitled “Divorce: What You Need to Know About Your House, Your Home Loan and Taxes”.

Order this report NOW to find out how to make this part of your current situation less stressful. Don’t need a report and just want questions answered. Contact us today for a private confidential discussion. Laurie at 801-205-1600 or Marty  at 801-205-3500  Free No obligation!  We have worked with dozens of families like yours!

How are Assets Split in a Divorce

Splitting Specific Assets (Please contact your attorney for legal advice we are not attorneys and are not offering legal advise )

  • The Home.  If divorcing individuals cannot agree on who should receive the home, the court may do one of several things: (1) order that the home remain in the possession of the parent who will have custody of the children until the children move out of the home; (2) order that the home be given to one party and award the other party other marital assets equal to the value of his/her share of the home; (3) allow one individual to buy out the other individual’s interest in the home; or (4) order that the home be sold and the equity split between the two individuals.
  • Other Real Property.  Real property refers to land, homes, condominiums, and other structures attached to land.  If the divorcing individuals cannot agree on who should receive the real property, a court may: (1) order the property be sold and the equity divided between the two individuals; (2) allow one individual to buy out the other individual’s interest in the real property; (3) order that the real property be given to one party and award the other party other marital assets equal to the value of the real property.
General Rules the Court Usually Follows

If a divorcing couple cannot come to an agreement on how to split their marital assets, a court will decide for them.  There are three basic rules that will help you understand how your assets will be split in a divorce: (1) Utah courts will divide assets equitably (fairly) between spouses; (2) all marital property will be divided between the two spouses; and (3) separate property will not be divided between the two spouses.  We’ll discuss each of these three rules in more detail below.

Utah Courts Distribute A Couple’s Assets Equitably

In a Utah divorce, courts will use an “equitable” approach to dividing property between spouses.  This means that the courts, above all, want the property to be divided fairly.  An equitable division of property between spouses doesn’t necessarily mean that each spouse will receive 50% of the couple’s assets—although that too occurs.  Courts will not only consider the monetary value of the couple’s assets, but it will also consider all of the circumstances of the divorce and the circumstances of the individual spouses.  For example, a court may find it is equitable for the parent who will have physical custody of the children to be awarded the couple’s home, or that the spouse who owns and operates his/her own business be awarded sole ownership of that business.

Marital Property

Marital property is that property that is acquired or earned during the marriage, so long as the property is not acquired by gift or inheritance. Anything that is not classified under “separate property” below will be considered marital property.

Separate Property

There are three main categories of property that will not be split and distributed between spouses upon divorce:

  1. Inherited Property.  Inherited property is any property that was left for the benefit of one spouse after  another person’s death.
  2. Gifted Property.  Gifted property is any property that was given to one spouse.
  3. Premarital Property.  Premarital property is any property that one spouse accumulated prior to the marriage and then brought into the marriage.

These are only general rules.  Like with most laws, there are exceptions to these rules that are often complex and should be explained by your attorney.

 

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