What Is The Court Process For Dividing Real Property In A Divorce?
When the decree of divorce awards a piece of real property to one party, the parties are to sign any legal documents necessary to give effect to the divorce judge’s ruling. If the marital home is in the sole name of the mother but is awarded by the courts to the father, the mother must eventually sign title over to the father. If the parties own the marital home jointly but the marital home is awarded to the mother, the father will be required to sign his interest over to the mother, usually by a quit-claim deed. If equity in a marital home is being divided, the court must either determine the amount of equity to be divided or set forth a formula by which the amount of equity will be determined.
When valuing a piece of property or the equity in a piece of property, the court will take into account the parties’ estimates of the values, appraisals, and market analysis. Most of the time, the parties are able to agree what the value of a real property would be by agreeing to a market analysis by a mutually agreed upon realtor, an appraisal by a mutually agreed upon appraiser, or even a Zillow report. The tax valuation done by the county is almost always estimated too low.
What Options Does The Divorcing Couple Have In Utah To Divide The Equity In A Marital Home?
If the parties reach an agreement regarding division of equity, the options they can come up with together would be much more flexible than what the court can order. The parties can agree to any kind of division they want and make exchanges for any amount of equity in the marital home or any other piece of real property for anything else that they want, even non-financial assets. Some parties give up all equity in a marital home in order to get a concession on custody or visitation of the children, even though those two issues do not relate to one another.
My Name Was Only On The Mortgage And Not The Deed To Our House. Will I Be Entitled To Anything Besides The Debt?
The court can award any marital property, even if only titled in one party’s name, to the other party, or a portion of it to the other party, and can also reallocate the debt. Either party could end up being entitled to any portion of the house, even it is not titled in their name. Generally whoever is awarded the real property will also be awarded the debt.
What Are Some Of The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Dividing Real Property That Could Be Avoided By Using A Qualified Utah Divorce Family Law Attorney?
Common mistakes when dividing real property include (a) failing to take adequate steps to value the real property or the equity in the real property, (b) structuring the division of alimony, child support, and real property in such a way that they cannot maintain the mortgage,(c) agreeing to an award of a portion of the equity in the marital home by giving the other party too much time to refinance or sell the property, (d) giving up too big of a concession elsewhere in the divorce settlement agreement, in order to keep the marital home, for sentimental reasons, or (e) giving up the marital home too easily, for a variety of reasons. The Law Office of Kelly Peterson routinely assists people in avoiding these and other kinds of mistakes when dividing the marital real property in a divorce.