Dividing a House During a Divorce
No family wants to give up their home following a divorce. It can hold a lot of financial and personal value to the owners, as well as any children who grew up in it. When dividing your marital assets during an Indiana divorce, you will need to determine the value of your house, and any other real estate, and come to terms on how it will be divided between you and your soon-to-be-ex.
Are Houses Always Considered Marital Property?
A house can be treated as marital property during property division whether it was purchased during the marriage or prior to the marriage. Indiana is one of the few states that treats separate property, or property that was acquired prior to marriage, as marital assets, because these assets can intermix during the marriage. With a house, for example, both spouses may contribute to a mortgage, upkeep, renovations, and other improvements. Having a deed to the house does not influence the matter; all assets are considered a part of one big pot.
How Is Real Estate Divided?
During a divorce, all martial assets will need to be divided under equitable distribution, which means a fair and equal distribution of assets. There are several factors a court will consider when dividing marital assets, and for real estate specifically, a court will look at:
- The income and earning potential of each spouse
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances
- Each spouse’s contributions to the acquisition and value of the assets
- Tax consequences for each spouse as a result of property division
If one spouse has primary physical custody and if it will benefit the child to remain in the family home, then the court will likely grant the house to that spouse. However, if you do not have children, then the court will proceed as if it was any other type of marital asset and evaluate the financial impact of dividing it between spouses.
Once you have determined the value of the property, you can negotiate with your spouse and their attorney to determine the best way to divide a house. You will need to consider the impact of selling the home and dividing the proceeds, if you can buy your spouse’s half of the house or trade other assets for it, if there is still a mortgage on the house, and whether you are renting a room to another party. If you own multiple pieces of real estate, such as vacation homes, you may consider take ownership of one property while your spouse takes the other.
There is no easy solution to dividing a house, and when faced with these important questions about how your property should be divided, you need to work with an experienced and knowledgeable Carmel family law attorney. At Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C., we have worked with many clients on high-net divorces to reach amicable solutions with their spouses. We can guide you every step of the way through the divorce process, from discovering hidden assets to determining the value of your property to negotiating for a fair and equal distribution of assets. To discuss your case in a free consultation, call us at (317) 969-8000.