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How Should We Handle Ownership of Our Family Home During Our Divorce?

Posted on in Property Division

Los Gatos divorce attorney for division of real estateThe divorce process can be an emotional and challenging time for all parties involved. Difficult financial decisions will need to be made as you separate from your spouse, and one of the most significant issues involves who will own your family’s home. Your marital home is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you own, and it can play a key role in the division of marital property. It is important to understand how California’s divorce laws address the division of residential property, and you should work with a family law attorney to determine the best way to proceed throughout the divorce process. 

Dividing Real Estate Property

As you work through the divorce process with your attorney, there are a number of critical steps you need to take regarding your residential property. First and foremost, you must establish whether the home is separate or community property. In the state of California, most assets and debts accumulated by either spouse during a marriage are community property, and they must be divided equally between spouses. However, assets received by one spouse as a gift or inheritance are typically considered separate property. Property purchased after the couple has separated, but prior to the divorce, is also regarded as separate property that will not need to be divided between spouses 

It should also be noted that property purchased or acquired prior to a marriage is generally considered separate property. However, a home that was separate property can become community property if the spouses agree to to redefine the asset or if it became commingled with community property during the marriage, such as when both spouses consistently made mortgage payments or shared other expenses related to the home. 

The next step you should take is determining the value of the property. This can be done through the hiring of a certified real estate appraiser. Once the value of the property has been established, you can determine how to address ownership of this asset. In many cases, divorcing spouses elect to sell their home and split the profits. However, if one spouse wishes to maintain ownership of the home, he or she may purchase the other spouse’s share of the home’s equity. In some cases, spouses may decide to continue to co-own the home after divorce and plan to sell it after their children have reached adulthood. 

Contact a Los Gatos Property Division Attorney 

When it comes to the division of real estate, you will need to work with an experienced attorney who can help you protect your financial interests. Attorney Benita Ventresca has assisted countless clients in determining the value of marital assets and ensuring they receive what is rightfully theirs. To schedule a complimentary consultation with a compassionate Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer, call our office today at 408-395-8822. 


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Los Gatos, CA 95030

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