Vikki Ziegler

What happens when a couple who owns property gets divorced? Vikki fills us in.

on Jun 10

Breaking up is hard to do. Dividing assets can be even more difficult when one party worked hard for them. In the case of Jennifer and Golan, Golan purchased properties, had them fixed and made them into income-generating properties. Jennifer borrowed money from a former employer to help with the purchase of some of the investment properties.

Then things went severally wrong. Golan strayed from the marriage and the parties could not work together nor live together and everything began to crumble. Golan stopped participating in the marriage and the parties needed help to determine how they would try to uncouple. It became apparent to me that without Golan maintaining the income-producing properties, it would be difficult for Jennifer to receive support for alimony and child support. The stability of the properties would give her the comfort needed that income would be generated while Golan slept each night. In return for Golan keeping the properties he would have to buy her out of 50-percent of the appraised value within a specific time frame. I thought that was the fairest way to divide the investment properties. If Golan lost them, he would never agree to settle the entire case, in my opinion.

Properties are one of the most valuable assets couples have in their divorces. It is very difficult to decide who should sell or who should stay. I like to recommend that couples get an opportunity to buy out the other one half interest at fair market value or what is called "the right of first refusal" if they have the financial ability to buy the house from the spouse after it is put up for sale.