Options for Real Estate Division in Divorce

In marriage, most couples will set out to invest in several high-return ventures. These are meant to provide an excellent financial cushion for their retirement years since they assume they will grow old together. When a marriage fails, however, these same properties become the primary bones of contention and the causes of most lengthy court battles. One thing that is not as easy to divide in divorce and also guarantees some of the highest returns is real estate. Few couples agree on what to do with their property investments in a separation.

A family attorney based in Santa Fe NM should be your go-to option when dividing real estate. This is because few couples will reach a mutual agreement on what to do on their own. For those that do reach an agreement, one party is almost always disadvantaged. In this case, the attorney ensures that you get what you are justly owed, and that the decisions you reach are legally binding. The following are the alternatives that the lawyer might recommend when it comes to real estate division.

Sell and Split Equity

If both of you want to start life on a clean slate, you can consider selling the real estate properties you have invested in together during your marriage. The proceeds from your sale will then be split between the two of you, after paying any outstanding property loans. The cash you get with this alternative will prove essentials for a sound financial start after the separation. Property bought before the marriage is generally not divided. In some cases, however, the courts might order a percentage split of sale proceeds. This is common in cases where one party helps a property owner with repair and maintenance expenses.


With this option, one of the spouses will “buy out” the other. A buyout often works for properties with a coinciding mortgage refinance. The spouse who opts to buy the property will apply for a new mortgage under his/her name. If you are the buyer, you should be sure that you can refinance it. This largely means having a steady income source.

Own the Property Together

Divorce agreement

Though uncommon, some divorcing spouses opt to continue co-owning real estate. The best choice in this instance is to have plans to sell it at a later date, like when the children are old enough, or the one occupying it is remarried. When you opt for property co-ownership in divorce, you should be sure that your ex will not default on the payment of different expenses for the property.

Give the Property to an Ex Instead Of Alimony

In divorce cases that involve the payment of alimony, you can opt to give the property in question to the spouse asking for it. This often negates the payment of spousal support. Even so, in some cases, the giving of the house will only lower how much you will pay in alimony.

Real estate need not be the cause of a bitter separation. When handled correctly, it guarantees an amicable relationship with your ex that is essential for those with children. Talk to an attorney to see which is the best alternative from the above for your real estate investments.