Dividing property can be one of the most difficult and complex aspects of a divorce, especially when the two parties are having difficulty agreeing on who should get what. However, this can be made even more complicated when the couple owns property in another state. If you and your spouse have bought a vacation home or other property in another state, it’s essential to understand how this process works to ensure you are both properly protected. The good news is this property is typically handled similarly to any marital property you do own within the state. If it was obtained during the marriage, it is still marital property and will be divided equally.
Property to Be Divided
Whether you own a house out of state or empty land with an RV parked on it, you will need to look at all property present in order to divide it fairly. For instance, it’s not just the actual land and the structures that are on it that should be divided. In fact, it may come down to either one party paying half of the value to the other party, thereby purchasing the property from the other, or selling the property outright and splitting the profits between the two parties. However, that isn’t all that must be considered. Any furniture, electronics, cars or other items present on the property must also be assigned a value and split between the two parties.
Not Always a 50/50 Split
When most people think about dividing property in a divorce, they think everything must be split evenly down the middle. This isn’t always the case, even if no fault is assigned in the divorce. While the court is interested in making sure both parties get a fair deal and the property and assets are divided as equally as possible, they do realize this isn’t always a possibility. It can be difficult to determine the true value of all items and there may be disputes between the two parties regarding how much something is really worth. In some situations, sentimental value can play just as big of a role as the actual monetary value. If the parties can come to an agreement regarding property division, it always ends up better than if the court has to step in and help. However, this isn’t always avoidable when the parties are unable to agree between themselves.
Can the Court Force a Sale?
One of the biggest questions individuals have is whether the court can force them to sell a home or other large property. The short answer is yes. This typically happens in situations where the parties are unable to agree among themselves regarding splitting certain property. If this occurs and there is no good reason in the eyes of the court for one party to be awarded a property over the other, the court may order the couple to sell the property and evenly split the profits. This is the most equitable division, even if one of the parties was interested in keeping the property. However, before this is ordered, the court will look at several factors to determine if one party should be awarded the property. These factors include:
- Financial contributions made toward the home
- Financial circumstances
- Value of the home
- Age and overall health
- Presence of minor children
- Ability to continue paying for the home
The individual who has primary custody of minor children and is still able to pay for the home is more likely to be able to keep it, for instance.
Dividing property can be one of the most difficult aspects of divorce, especially if out-of-state property is involved. The good news is a qualified attorney can help make this process much simpler and ensure a good outcome for all involved. For more information about divorce and division of property, contact us for an appointment today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your initial visit.