The single biggest asset most people have is their home. For the most part, the value of the home will far exceed any retirement assets or other assets accumulated during the marriage. As the sad reality is that divorces often evolve into a struggle over the division of assets, it is understandable why the jointly owned residence can become a major issue in the divorce.
How Much Is the Home Worth?
Like most assets, the true value of an item is established at the time it is sold. Unless both parties in the divorce agree to sell the residence and split the capital gain, there will be some hurdles faced in assessing the fair market value of the home. It is common for multiple home appraisals to result in values that differ significantly. A divorce attorney can help their client establish a fair, but favorable value for the home. This is important as it will affect how the division of other assets such as retirement accounts, pensions, and valuable personal property is divided.
The Emotional Value
A home is a place of residence and memories. Often, at least one member of the marriage has placed time and effort into the care or improvement of the property. Leaving it behind to their ex-spouse or selling it off can invoke emotional resistance. This is understandable, but at the same time potentially expensive as it can prolong the divorce incurring additional attorney’s fees. A good divorce attorney will help a client balance emotional needs in a way that promotes their best long-term interests. This is particularly important when the mortgage requires two incomes to support. If one party hopes to remain in the home, they’ll need to both shoulder the full mortgage and cash out their ex-spouse.
Not everyone views a home the same way. A small number of people treat the residence as an investment. As such, they maintain the home in a manner to improve the home’s value so that it can be sold for profit at a later date. That said, most people treat the home much like they do a bridal engagement ring. It is a large investment that is maintained with no expectation of ever being sold. In addition, there are other costs that go into a home such as home owner’s insurance, property taxes, maintenance costs, and the cost of utilities. Hopefully, you’ll see that dissolving the home as a joint marital asset can become a major sticking point in a divorce. This makes the choice of a divorce attorney critical.
Contact Our Bergen County Divorce Attorneys
The Radol Law Firm has a solid reputation in handling divorce cases and is devoted to ensuring their clients get the most favorable outcome. If you need an experienced law firm to help you through tough times.
The Radol Law Firm is proud to serve the people of New Jersey in their divorce and family law, elder law, estate planning, and bankruptcy matters. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.