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3 questions to answer about marital homes during New York divorces

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Property And Asset Division

Someone who is preparing for divorce in New York likely has a lot of issues to address. There are the immediate practical needs of establishing separate finances and obtaining the right support for divorce proceedings.

People also need to learn about state rules so that they understand what to expect during the divorce process. Dividing marital property is often one of the most challenging elements of a New York divorce. Couples often invest in a home where they live together. Their residence may be a major contributing element to the overall value of the marital estate. Addressing the home can, therefore, be one of the more challenging aspects of the divorce process.

Reaching a short-term possession agreement

The early stages of divorce often include establishing separate living arrangements. While spouses may not yet know what they intend to do with the home at the end of the process, they do need to decide who stays there during the divorce. Child custody considerations may influence that decision. Sometimes, it is not realistic to have one spouse immediately move out of the home when someone files for divorce. Spouses may need to negotiate arrangements that allow them to live together temporarily.

Establishing the value of the home

To effectively address the marital home during a divorce, couples first need to know what the home is worth. Often, someone married for years may have an outdated idea of their home’s valuation. It is often necessary to hire an appraiser or work with a real estate professional to establish the current fair market value for the property. Setting that figure allows spouses to calculate how much equity they have and better address the home in their negotiations.

Offsetting accumulated equity

In all but the rarest of cases, only one spouse is likely to retain ownership of the home. Some couples decide to sell their home and split the revenue. Other times, one spouse keeps the house. In a scenario where one person retains ownership of the home, the couple needs to find a way to compensate the other spouse for their share of the equity. Sometimes, one spouse has to refinance to withdraw equity and may have to pay far more each month for the mortgage because of that move. Other times, spouses can use other valuable properties to balance the value of the marital home.

Realizing that higher-value assets are likely to complicate property division proceedings may benefit people preparing for divorce in New York. Those who have a plan to tackle the issues related to their most valuable resources are often in a solid position to secure the best possible outcome.