When you and your spouse are going through a divorce, it’s essential to consider what will happen to your assets upon separation, including any rental properties you own. As such, it’s necessary to ensure you understand what options are available to you when determining how these properties are handled. Keep reading to learn how a Monroe, Louisiana property division lawyer can assist you through these challenging times to help ensure your best interests are represented during this legal process.
What Is Community Property?
Community or marital property includes assets a couple obtains during the course of their marriage. It’s also important to note that separate property, or assets owned before the couple is married, can become community property if they are co-mingled with marital assets. For example, if one spouse has a bank account with $5,000 in it, but they transfer money between that account and a joint account with their spouse, it will become marital property. As such, it will be subject to division upon divorce.
Rental properties obtained during marriage are considered community property and are subjected to equal division. If one spouse owns a rental property before marriage or inherits one while married, it may constitute separate property. However, if they add their spouse’s name to the title, it becomes marital property.
Louisiana is one of few states that has adopted the community property method of distributing marital assets. As such, any assets deemed marital property will be distributed evenly between the spouses, regardless of how much each party contributed to the marriage. This division occurs if a couple cannot agree on how to proceed with their divorce, as the courts and a judge will distribute the assets according to Louisiana law.
What Options Do I Have to Divide Rental Properties?
When dividing rental property, the process is more complicated than other assets. Unlike a bank account, you can’t simply award your spouse half and deem the transaction done.
One option some spouses choose is to keep the property and continue to manage it together, splitting any profits gained. However, this may not be viable for all spouses, as it may be challenging for some to get along.
Another option is for one spouse to retain the property while giving the other party an asset of equal value. However, one may offer to “buy out” the other or pay for half of the other’s share.
Finally, both spouses may agree to sell the property, splitting the profits gained during the sale.
Dividing marital property can be a complex issue. It’s in your best interest to hire an experienced divorce attorney from Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson to assist you, even if you are on amicable terms with your spouse. As this process can be complicated and impact your financial future, letting a professional assist you is ideal. When you need help, our firm is ready to assist. Contact us today to learn how we can guide you through this process.