A House DividedMarybeth Sampsel
The martial home is often the most valuable asset to be dealt with in a divorce. Generally, one of three things can happen to the martial home as part of the divorce: it is sold on the open market, one of the spouses buys out the other spouse’s interest, or one spouse is allowed to occupy the home for a period of time, until, for instance, a teenage child graduates from high school, and then the home is sold.
If the home is sold, the value of the home is distributed. The value is the net proceeds remaining after all the costs associated with the sale have been paid. These costs include transfer taxes, broker’s commissions, the costs to satisfy the outstanding mortgage and, of course, legal fees.
If one spouse remains in possession of the home, the property needs to be appraised. The appraiser, by comparing the particular home to others in similar condition and location, offers an opinion of the property’s value. From there, the parties or the Court how those proceeds are to be divided equitably.