Spouses preparing for divorce might benefit from understanding more about some of the factors that can dictate how real estate assets are allocated by a formal proceeding. The outcome of property division typically depends on the state laws governing the divorce. Many separated spouses struggle with determining how much each party is entitled to receive from the marital estate. State laws may dictate whether divorcing spouses must split the value of the home equitably, or if one party is entitled to keep the property in its entirety.
Some spouses are successful in avoiding contentious disputes and lengthy proceedings by selling their property before filing for divorce. When a spouse is unable to sell a house before filing for divorce, it may be used against them as leverage in the negotiations or formal hearing. Dividing the property equitably is the primary point of contention for many divorcing couples. Often times, dividing the proceeds from the sale of the home is far easier than negotiating the rights to retain the property.
Spouses may also benefit from recognizing the significance of additional costs that are attached to retaining the home, such as the commission for the real estate agent and capital gains tax. Some individuals make the mistake of letting their emotions dictate their decision making while undergoing the divorce process. The emotions often subside, but the consequences of those rash decisions may be everlasting.
Divorce lawyers may be able to assist separated spouses prepare for property division. Legal counsel might be able to help with negotiating other aspects of the divorce as well, including alimony or parenting plan issues. Lawyers may focus on gathering enough evidence to provide their client with leverage in the divorce trial, or to obtain a more favorable settlement agreement outside of court.