Divorce and Your House — Avoid Common Pitfalls With A Team

By Joan Rogliano, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist & Owner of Rogliano Real Estate Group and Wildflower Group

Given the financial and emotional implications that are linked to your house, it’s no surprise that your home is the asset that most often causes controversy both before and after a divorce. So why are there so many issues with the home and divorce?

The principal reason is the timing of the sale of the home and the division of the net proceeds. Both events frequently occur sometime after the divorce when neither party is ready to communicate. Moreover, there are several key factors that can affect the handling of an asset or the distribution of the net proceeds from the sale of the asset in a divorce. The factors are:

Identification of the type of real estate and the type of ownership interest you have
The ownership history of your real estate
Real estate, income and capital gain taxes
Value and debts, such as loans and tax liens, that are secured by the real estate
Another factor than can ignite controversy during a divorce and impact the handling of assets is that couples going through a divorce seldom plan appropriately for the payment of household maintenance and upkeep during the divorce. Everyday issues like a leaking facet or broken window can cause unneeded stress and tension.

Also instigating issues during divorce is the description of your ownership interest in your home and other real estate, which can be very complicated. To avoid unexpected issues, consult with your legal advisor and realtor as well as check the laws in your state.

So how do you make your decision about your house during divorce more manageable? Being aware of common pitfalls of divorce—like those addressed above—is the first step. The second is to seek guidance from a team of trained professionals, including a legal adviser, CPA, real estate agent and financial planner. Divorce truly takes a team!

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