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Determining a home’s value in a divorce

| Oct 8, 2019 | divorce and family law

Estranged Virginia spouses who are seeking a divorce may be interested in retaining their marital homes. In some cases, this is done by buying out the other spouse. There are many different factors that need to be considered when determining how much a buyout could be worth. For instance, it is important to figure out how much equity is in the home. Equity is the value of the home after subtracting the balance owed on a mortgage.

Generally speaking, each spouse is entitled to half of the equity in the home. However, it may not be necessary to actually write a check to whoever is giving up their stake in the property. Instead, the person who is keeping the home could offer other valuable assets such as cash or a stock portfolio in exchange for equity in the home.

The home will ideally be appraised and inspected before the transaction becomes official. This can help to verify the home’s value as well as the fact that it is in suitable condition to live in. If there are issues with the house, the divorce settlement should spell out who is responsible for taking care of them. It is important for whoever is keeping the home to remove the other spouse from the title to the property.

Dividing equity in a home may be a contentious issue in a divorce settlement. However, the use of prenuptial agreements may make it easier to determine how property is divided if a marriage ends. Couples who choose not to create prenuptial agreements may negotiate the terms of their divorce after getting married or when they decide to separate. Legal counsel may be able to help an individual negotiate a prenuptial agreement or review its terms before it is signed.