Property distribution can be one of the toughest parts of the divorce process. It can be difficult to figure out the most equitable way of distributing everything that you and your spouse have acquired during your marriage, and some assets that can be particularly difficult to deal with are rental properties. If you are worried that you are not going to get a fair deal as far as these properties are concerned, you may want to speak to a Suffolk County property distribution lawyer.
Are My Rental Properties Considered Marital Assets?
This is one of the most important questions to answer during the property distribution process. If you or your spouse owned the rental properties before you were married, they are likely considered “separate property” and not “marital property.” This means that you came into the marriage with the property, so you should leave with it.
If a rental property was inherited by one of you during your marriage and it is only in your name, that is also likely to be considered a separate property. Rental properties are only going to be considered marital assets if both you and your spouse can claim ownership of them.
What If Joint Money Was Invested Into These Rental Properties?
A complication can arise with your rental properties if you commingle your assets though. If one spouse comes into the marriage with a rental property, that would be considered a separate property. However, if they then use joint funds to fix or maintain their rental, then their spouse could make a credible argument that they are also invested in this rental property. You have to be careful about how you mix assets in a marriage.
How Can We Decide What Happens to the Rental Properties?
You and your spouse can negotiate and find the best way to split up rental properties through mediation or a collaborative divorce. You can decide to:
- Sell the properties and split the money
- Continue collecting rent and split it 50/50
- Have one spouse buy out the other spouse’s stake in the property
- Split up multiple rental properties as close to equally as possible based on their current value
If you cannot decide what to do, the court will have to step in.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Even if you are on relatively good terms with your spouse or you are thinking about going through mediation, it can still be a good idea to have a knowledgeable family lawyer on your side. An attorney from our firm can answer your questions and offer you helpful advice. We can also put you in touch with our contacts, like reliable property appraisers.
Meet Our Legal Team
You need to fight for a fair deal and your share of the assets when you get a divorce. Our experienced attorneys can help you do that. Contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. and schedule your consultation today. We can tell you more about how our team can assist you during the divorce process.