For many divorcing couples in New York, their marital home will be the biggest complicating factor. It is quite common for people to disagree about the assets that have the most financial and emotional value at the end of their marriages.
The equitable distribution rules in New York generally protect your interest in the home where you lived during your marriage, especially if you purchase the home during the marriage. However, your spouse also has an interest in the property.
If you understand the two biggest disagreements that arise related to real estate in divorces, you can potentially avoid those challenges or keep them from unnecessarily complicating your divorce.
Both spouses want to retain possession
Maybe your home is perfectly situated with a view of a park, or perhaps you and your ex both want your children to stay at the same schools when you divorce. The parent who keeps the home might end up having more parenting time, so both of you insist on keeping the house.
Couples often disagree very strongly about who will retain possession or the right to physically stay in the home after the divorce. While you can typically expect the courts to uphold your right to some of the home’s value, there is never a guarantee that you can remain living there. Unless you and your spouse negotiate your own arrangements, a judge will eventually decide which one of you gets to stay in your marital home.
You may disagree on the home’s value
It is easy to see how the spouse hoping to stay at the marital home and the spouse wanting reimbursement for their share of equity would have very different desires when it comes to valuing the marital home. It is common for couples in New York to misunderstand what their property is truly worth. You may require an appraisal to settle the matter.
In fact, some couples even disagree after one appraisal and will require a second appraisal. Both changes in the market and concerns about the neutrality of the appraiser hired could lead to the need for a second appraisal before you agree on the fair market value of your home.
Proactively identifying and contemplating disputes that will likely arrive during your property division proceedings will help you plan for a smoother and less contentious New York divorce.