For Washington state couples who are getting a divorce, dividing marital property can be one of the most complicated issues they will deal with. Since there may be significant value for certain items, there are frequently disagreements as to how the property will be split. One such asset is the marital home.
Key aspects of splitting a marital home in a divorce
Whether it is a contentious divorce or the spouses are on relatively good terms, what happens with the marital home could sow the seeds of discord. In general, the options are: selling the property; one former spouse retains it; or both keep it on a temporary basis. Selling the property and dividing what is left over after all expenses are paid is considered the easiest avenue. This is also perceived as the simplest way for the sides to move on.
If, however, one former spouse wants to retain the home and the mortgage is in both names, it will likely need to be refinanced. The other spouse will be removed from ownership, the outstanding mortgage will be paid with a new one obtained, and the person who is keeping the home buys out the other. Depending on the circumstances, however, this could be complicated. For example, if the person trying to buy the home does not qualify for a mortgage, it could be a challenge to address. The sides should get an appraisal and find common ground for its value. In amicable cases, it may be viable to retain the house with a cost-sharing agreement.
For cases with complex property, having professional help may be vital
For couples who are getting a divorce, there were obviously problems in the relationship that preceded the end of the marriage. Navigating the difficult terrain of family law with property division can stoke tensions and make the process more time-consuming and costly. It is wise to remember that there are useful strategies to handle a marital home. Whether that is through negotiation or by going to court, having experienced legal assistance can be crucial to achieve a fair outcome.