There are few guarantees in New York divorces unless you and your spouse have an airtight marital agreement. Otherwise, the outcome of your divorce will depend partially on how well you can negotiate and how well you advocate for yourself.
With the possible exception of retirement savings and a family-owned business, your marital home is likely the most valuable property that you share with your spouse. You may have spent your entire marriage making payments toward the principal balance on your home.
How can you help ensure that you receive your fair share of the home’s equity in the divorce?
Learn a bit about New York property division rules
There are many myths shared regarding New York divorces. For example, some people might tell you you lose your interest in the home if you move out before the courts finalize your divorce.
However, the equitable distribution rules that apply in New York protect your financial interest in the property regardless of who actually lives in the home during or after the divorce. You can either receive some of the equity or other assets of similar value. Of course, the value of the home itself could potentially be a point of contention in your divorce.
Make sure you put a fair value on the home
One of the biggest risks in property division when it comes to real estate is the possibility of undervaluing the property. The amount that you pay taxes on or the original purchase price that you finance is likely not what the home is worth on the current market.
You need an appraisal to make sure you understand what the home is worth. Property values have seen double-digit increases in many New York markets in recent years, and only a professional can affirm what you could receive if you sold. You may even need two appraisals if you don’t trust the professional that your spouse hires to put a value on the property.
Only when you know what the home is actually worth and how New York handles the division of your belongings can you fight for your fair share of the home in upcoming divorce proceedings. Pushing for a fair resolution to property division will give you a better future after your divorce.