I wanted to write a brief post about an excellent article that that was recently printed in the Wall Street Journal about a common topic in Family Law.
California Law requires that all Community Property Assets and Debts be equally divided in a Divorce. The family residence is usually the largest assets the most families typically own.
It is often necessary for the services of a licensed real estate appraiser to be used to give the parties' and their attorneys an idea of the current market value of the home. The client's can than use this information when deciding on what settlement proposals they would like to make to the other spouse.
It is always ideal if the parties can agree hiring a neutral real estate appraiser. Otherwise, each party may end up having to hire their own appraiser. If there is no agreement, the Court has to make the final call as to which appraiser has the more accurate figure.
Otherwise, the Judge can always order the house to be put on the market until it is sold. this is the final resolution if the parties cannot agree on the value of the house.
Under the current real estate market conditions, many home owners do not have any equity in the home. The Court may be inclined to allow one party to stay in possession of the home as long as they are able to keep the mortgage payments current.
One possible option is to delay the sale of the home until a future date, usually when the children are ready to change schools. The home can than be listed and sold and the sale proceeds equally divided.
If anyone would like more information on this subject, I highly recommend the Wall Street Journal article by Alyssa Abkowitz.