Divorce and Real Estate: Dividing Marital Property

July 25, 2018 — by John Conger
Tags: Divorce Community Property Division Of Property

The value of a marital home and real estateHaving an experienced divorce attorney on your side can help streamline the end of a marriage. As disputes and disagreements arise, a divorce lawyer can advise you on matters related to property division, child custody, and any alimony or child support payments that must be made.

The marital home can pose a number of issues during a divorce. The financial and emotional value of shared property can cloud decisions and lead to frustrating arguments in which emotions run high. The attorneys at our Stockton, CA law firm consider the basics of these matters.

Separate and Community Property

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of property in a marriage: separate property and community property. Separate property belongs to one of the spouses, and typically belonged to them prior to the marriage. Community property is property that is acquired by the couple during a marriage.

While this seems cut and dry in the abstract, matters can become extremely complicated when dealing with property. This is particularly true of a house that a married couple has lived in together.

The Home as a Marital Asset

Houses, condos, or apartments that are part of a marriage pose a number of difficulties during a divorce. There are many emotional attachments to a given place that can cause hardships when parting with the property. One spouse may want to retain the property, while another may claim that the house is really separate property rather than community property.

Buyout of the Property

One option when dividing property in divorce is to have one spouse do a buyout of the home. In this situation, the spouse who gets to keep the real estate will buy out the former spouse’s share of the property. This can factor into who gets other property from the marriage, or who retains certain debts.

Selling Real Estate and Dividing Its Value

If both spouses are intent on settling property matters quickly, it’s also possible to simply sell the house and then divide its value. This is one of the faster and less difficult options since emotional attachments do not necessarily factor into the pure monetary value of the property.

Disputes Over Who Gets the Property

As you can imagine, many disputes can arise over who gets control of the real estate from a marriage. Claims that a home was in fact separate property rather than community property are common. Similarly, the well-being of any children from a marriage may be factored into disputes over property.

When dealing with such disputes, the date that the property was purchased can be a key for an amicable solution. However, if that property served as a home during marriage or was a source of income during the marriage, there still could be arguments made that the home is really community property.

How a Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Given the contentious and sometimes bitter nature of a divorce, its important to have an attorney on your side. A lawyer can consider the nature of the property dispute, look at the laws on the books regarding property division in California, and offer honest insight into the best choice given the circumstances.

Your lawyer can discuss matters with legal representation from your spouse when disputes get heated, making sure that cooler head prevail and good decisions are made for all parties involved.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

For more information about your legal options during a divorce, it’s important that you contact the lawyers of Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP. We will offer insight and peace of mind during the proceedings, attempting to keep matters as amicable as possible.