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July 14, 2020
Determining Amount From the Former Family Residence

When you and your spouse divorce, one of the things that you may need to do is sell the former family residence and split the money. But that money doesn’t always get divided evenly. You also have to understand the house’s fair market value and that one or both parties may have been the ones paying the mortgage. The house may have belonged to one of you before the marriage, or maybe you bought it together. Both of your names might or might not be on the title. All of those things could matter.

Understanding the Fair Market Value

The house’s fair market value is what the market would pay for it in its present condition. From that amount, any liens have to be deducted. That includes the mortgage, any home equity line of credit, and other liens. These could be tax liens, judgments, or anything else that used the house for security. These things must be paid back when the house is sold. The amount of money divided between the spouses won’t include any of the money that goes to pay for those kinds of things.

The Rental Value May Matter

In some cases, how much the house would rent will be factored into the equation. That’s especially true if one spouse wants to keep the house, as they’ll still have to pay the other spouse their fair portion of what they would get if the house was sold and the money equitably divided. It can be very complicated to divide up the proceeds of a home because it’s not just a 50-50 split in most cases. Rental value can make it more confusing, as well, because it’s often a subjective number that could be inaccurate.

Contributions of Both Spouses are Important

In most cases, spouses didn’t contribute equally to paying the mortgage payment. One of them may have produced it from their employment, while the other stayed home to raise children. Or maybe they both worked, but one made a lot more money than the other one, and so that person paid much more of the mortgage. There are all types of reasons why it can be challenging to divide the property. A competent attorney can help sort out what’s fair and proper regarding the amount each party should be paying.

Sometimes, one spouse will get much more than the other due to more unique reasons, such as coming up with the down payment or having their parents give them a lot of money toward the house. They may have paid for renovations, as well, or otherwise used a lot of their resources to fund projects around the house. If one spouse has done that and the other hasn’t, dividing up the equity in the property will need to be done with the help of good counsel.

If you need to divide up the proceeds of a former family residence or otherwise figure out how much each spouse should be getting, reach out to us at Hartley Lamas Et Al. today. We can help with this and other family law issues to protect your future.

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