Of all the various assets that play into the property division phase of a divorce, real estate tends to be the most complicated. Deciding who will get the family properties like vacation homes may require both financial and personal considerations. Various additional rules and restrictions may apply as well depending on when the property was purchased and whose name is or is not on the title or deed.
Understanding and overcoming real estate complications during divorce in Austin is generally a lot easier with guidance from a seasoned attorney who has vast experience with high-asset cases. On top of assisting with the valuation of various properties, skilled legal counsel could also clarify what properties may be subject to division in the first place and what related expenses may be eligible for reimbursement.
Splitting a Jointly Owned Residence
Under state law, any property purchased or acquired by an individual during their marriage is considered community property, meaning it would be subject to division between them and their spouse in the event of a divorce. Even if only one party to a marriage has their name on the deed or contributed to paying the mortgage, that piece of real estate is still part of the marital estate if the purchase date falls anywhere between the start of the marriage and the conclusion of an ensuing divorce.
However, divorce courts in Austin follow an equitable distribution model when it comes to dividing community property. This means the judge’s priority should be a fair division of property between divorcing spouses rather than an exactly equal split. Accordingly, divorcing parties do not necessarily have to divide community real estate by liquidating the property and sharing the proceeds from the sale, although that is a valid option in certain situations.
Instead, one party could keep the deed in their name or have it transferred to them, in exchange for giving the other party a greater share of other types of community property like furniture, vehicles, investments, and retirement benefits. In this situation, a final divorce decree can serve as a record of title, which allows for the transferring of legal ownership of real estate from one party to another without requiring a new deed. If this is the method a couple decides to utilize, it would require public disclosure of the property transfer. Splitting a jointly owned residence is one of the most common real estate complications that a couple may face during their divorce in Austin. Fortunately, one of our experienced attorneys could review a particular case and determine what strategy works best for a given situation.
Complications When Reimbursing for Real Estate Contributions
Generally, if someone brings real estate into a marriage rather than purchasing it while the marriage is ongoing, or if they acquire property through inheritance or as a gift, it is considered separate property that is ineligible for division during divorce. Any financial contributions made to separate property by a non-owning spouse during marriage such as mortgage payments, insurance and/or tax obligations, or funding for property improvements may be reimbursed as part of the property division process. This process is often accomplished through liquidation of other assets or the real estate property in question.
Additionally, if a divorce grants full ownership of real estate to a single party, the non-owning spouse may be able to seek reimbursement for their fair portion of the interest that property would have accrued. Assistance from a qualified legal professional could be essential to navigating these and other real estate complications during a divorce in Austin.
Learn More About Real Estate Complications During Divorce from an Austin Attorney
Divorce can be an especially complex endeavor if you and your spouse co-owned multiple real estate properties, or even if you just shared a family home. Regardless, dealing with real estate complications during divorce in Austin may require assistance not only from qualified accountants and realtors, but also from legal representatives who are familiar with how family law in Texas approaches these situations.
A seasoned high-asset divorce attorney could answer all your questions and address all your concerns during a private consultation. Call our office today to discuss your case in more depth.