If you and your spouse have a lot of property to split up during a divorce, those negotiations can quickly become complicated and contentious. Our Bergen County divorce attorneys can help you through this process and we will do everything that we can to make sure that you get a fair shake in the property distribution process. One thing that can make these negotiations more complex is the presence of rental properties. How do you deal with these fairly in a divorce?
Are My Rental Properties Considered Marital Assets?
For rental properties to be split up during the divorce process, they had to be marital properties in the first place. Sometimes a property belongs to just one person. That is considered “separate property.” If you owned a rental property before marriage or if you inherited one that is solely in your name, that should be considered your property and you should leave the marriage with it.
If you and your spouse purchased rental properties together, then you both deserve a share of them.
What If Joint Money Was Invested in These Rental Properties?
Sometimes joint money ends up getting invested in a rental property that only belongs to one spouse. What happens if your spouse takes money from your joint account and uses it to repair their rental property? This can muddy the waters around your finances a bit, and you may be able to argue that you have a stake in this property as a result.
What Are Some Common Ways of Dealing With Rental Properties in a Divorce?
There are a few ways that rental properties can be addressed in a divorce agreement. Couples can:
Sell off the properties: The rental properties can be appraised and then sold off. Each spouse gets half of the proceeds.
Buy each other out: One spouse can buy the other spouse out of their stake in a rental property.
Keep the property: Sometimes spouses can get along well enough and agree to manage the property together. Setting up an LLC with 50/50 ownership and then splitting the rent payments can be a smart financial move for the long term.
Equally divide the properties: If there are multiple rental properties, you may be able to divide them up equally. If there is no way to do that, other marital assets could be awarded to the spouse who gets the less valuable properties.
Do I Need to Go to Court?
You may not have to. If you and your spouse can settle on what to do with the rental properties and other assets, you may just need to have your agreements finalized by the court. That means no need for expensive litigation. If you think that you and your spouse can put any animosity aside and negotiate in good faith, mediation or a collaborative divorce might be a good option for you.
Talk to Our Family Lawyers
The attorneys here at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark are ready to help you at every stage of the divorce process. Contact our law firm today and schedule your free consultation. We can tell you more about how we can help you protect your assets and fight for a fair divorce settlement.