Figuring out which spouse gets which property is one of the most important parts of the divorce process. Unsurprisingly, it can also be the part that causes the most conflict. If you have a lot of property, this process can be difficult. One problem we see frequently concerns rental properties and how they should be shared among a divorced couple. What can you do with them? An experienced Tazewell County marital property division lawyer from our firm can help you decide.
Are Rental Properties Marital Assets?
This is a critical question to answer. A marital asset is something that you and your spouse can both claim to own. How you came to own these rental properties is going to become very important in a few moments.
If you or your spouse came into the marriage already owning a property, then that is likely to be considered “separate property” instead of “marital property.” In a divorce, it would simply continue being owned by the same person who owned it before the marriage began. Rental properties could also be considered separate property if they were inherited by just one spouse and put only in their name.
Now if you and your spouse purchased multiple properties together and began renting them out, that is when you have marital assets on your hands. These need to be split up. Sometimes a separate property could also become a marital property if everything gets comingled. For example, maybe one spouse owned a property but then put their spouse’s name on the deed as well. You could also make the argument that if your marital assets were used for the upkeep of your spouse’s property, then you should be entitled to a piece of it.
What Are the Options for Splitting Up Rental Properties?
So if the rental properties are considered marital assets, they need to be split up. You have a few options here. You can:
- Sell the properties and split the proceeds
- Have one spouse “buy out” the other
- Have one spouse take the rental properties while another gets to keep other marital assets of similar value
- Create an LLC and continue to split rent from the properties 50/50
What If My Spouse and I Cannot Agree About the Rental Properties?
It can be easier to come to an agreement about rental properties during mediation or a collaborative divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree on what to do, the court will have to decide. It will usually go for the path that looks easiest and fair, and that is selling off the properties and splitting the profits among the divorcing couple.
Contact Our Family Law Firm
If you want to keep your fair share of the assets in a divorce, you need an attorney who is willing to advocate for you. So contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. and schedule your consultation. We would love to tell you more about how we will help you fight for the best possible settlement.