Married couples often acquire resources that improve their overall standard of living. Buying a home where they can live together helps them build equity and can reduce the direct costs they incur for housing. Couples often commit thousands of dollars to a down payment on a home, followed by monthly mortgage payments that slowly build their equity in the property. They may also invest financially in the home by repairing or modernizing it.
When married couples who own real property in Louisiana start preparing for divorce, there are often questions about what will happen to the marital home. What is the most common approach to dealing with jointly-owned real property during a Louisiana divorce?
There are many viable solutions for real property
There is no one solution that works for every family. The spouses negotiating a divorce settlement or the judge hearing their case in family court will need to make a decision based on the unique family circumstances and Louisiana’s community property laws.
In some cases, spouses aim to keep the marital home. It is relatively rare for spouses to maintain joint ownership after a divorce. Typically, either they sell the property or one spouse retains the home. In a scenario where one spouse keeps the home, the other one will receive their appropriate community property share of its value.
The spouse retaining the home can refinance it to withdraw equity that can compensate the spouse no longer living there. Other times, different marital assets can serve to offset the value of the marital home. Retirement accounts, business holdings and a variety of high-value personal property can help offset home equity. The marital debts could also influence how spouses split their property to ensure that each receives a fair portion of the marital estate, including the equity in the marital home.
Those preparing for divorce proceedings in Louisiana often need to spend time considering their circumstances. Keeping the house isn’t always the best solution, particularly if someone’s income isn’t enough for them to refinance the property on their own or if they would struggle to maintain the property without support. Setting realistic goals can help people avoid the pitfall of letting their emotions dictate how they respond to different challenges during property division so that they can make truly informed decisions that will benefit their future, no matter what those decisions may be.