How is the value of a house split in divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2023 | Property Division |

Divorce brings a wave of complexities. One of which is determining the fate of a shared property, like a house. In Connecticut, the division of assets hinges on the state’s “equitable distribution” approach. This method typically leads to a near-even 50/50 split. However, there are still instances when the court can tweak this to ensure fairness. Here are the possible scenarios:

Sell the house and divide the equity

Dividing equity when selling a house can go much smoother if both spouses’ names are on the mortgage and deed. But it may not be as easy if only one spouse’s name appears on the deed.

Fortunately, although various factors may come into play, selling the house and sharing equity in this setup can still be an option. Just note that if one of the spouses owned the home before tying the marital knot, the equity at the marriage’s inception could be shielded from division.

Award assets of equal worth

Sometimes, a fire sale may not appeal to one spouse. If this is the case, one spouse may relinquish their share in the house’s equity while the other forsakes interest in another asset, like a retirement fund. This exchange of assets balances the scales without selling the property.

Equity buyout through refinancing

In another scenario, what if one of the spouses has a soft spot for the house and wants to call it home post-divorce? Here, the partner who is staying can refinance the mortgage under their name and remove the joint ownership. In return, they may settle with the other spouse by paying them off for their share of the equity. It is like trading in a bit of ownership for complete control. This option also simplifies the house’s paperwork since doing this will mean that only one name appears on the deed and mortgage.

Divorce’s nuances are intricate, especially when dividing assets based on their value. But at the end of the day, it is how both spouses will agree on the terms of how to divide their property. If negotiations are not going smoothly, legal aid can illuminate which is the ideal path for you.


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