When it comes to the division of assets in a divorce, real estate can be one of the most complicated types of property to address. It is important for divorcing couples to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to ownership and division of real estate during the process of getting divorced in New York. Some key considerations to address in these situations include:
New York’s Marital Property Laws
In New York, real estate is classified as either “marital property” or “separate property.” Marital property includes all assets acquired during the marriage, such as a jointly owned family home, vacation home, or any other investments that have been shared by both parties during the course of their marriage. Separate property includes any asset acquired prior to the marriage or through an inheritance.
If a couple purchased a home or other property during their marriage, it will be considered marital property. However, even if a spouse owned a home before getting married, the other spouse’s contributions to the property may need to be considered, such as marital funds used to make ongoing mortgage payments, perform repairs, or make improvements to a couple’s family home. In these cases, a spouse may be able to maintain ownership of their home, but they may be required to reimburse the other spouse for contributions made that increased the value of the property.
An equitable division of all marital property must be determined before a couple can finalize their divorce. This can be done through either negotiation or litigation. The goal is for each spouse to come out with a fair and equitable portion of the marital assets and debts, including any equity associated with real estate holdings.
Ownership Options During Divorce
In some cases, divorcing couples may decide that jointly owning marital real estate is not feasible (or desirable). In fact, continuing to own a home or other property together after getting divorced is generally not recommended. This would require a couple to remain financially and legally tied to each other, and disputes may arise about each party’s responsibility for paying expenses related to the property, such as utilities and maintenance costs.
In cases where a couple will not be co-owning a property after getting divorced, there are two options available—one spouse can buy out the other’s interest in the property, or the couple can sell the house and divide the proceeds accordingly. If one spouse chooses to buy out the other’s interest in the property, they will usually need to refinance the home in their own name, and the other spouse will need to be removed from the home’s title. During this process, it is important to ensure that the spouse who owns the home will be able to cover all costs related to the property. That is, they will need to be able to make ongoing mortgage payments while also paying utilities, property taxes, and costs related to maintenance and general upkeep.
Contact Our Hudson Valley Marital Property Division Lawyer
Real estate plays an important role in many divorces, and decisions about these assets can often be complicated due to the various legal considerations involved, as well as the tax implications of dividing property. A qualified lawyer can provide guidance during the complex property division process, ensuring that your best interests will be protected in the decisions you make. At Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C., our Rockland County asset division attorney can help you address these issues correctly while guiding you through the legal process of divorce and making sure you will have the financial resources you need once your marriage has been legally terminated. Contact us at 845-358-7100 to discuss these issues in a free consultation.