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Why you should get a fresh appraisal on your home before divorce

When you are going through a divorce, one of the toughest parts is dividing your assets with your former spouse. When a family home is involved, your emotions often play a role. You may not want to give that up, especially if you have children and want to limit the transitions they are facing amid the divorce.

Getting your home appraised

Of course, some decide to let their spouse keep the house or sell it. Yet before you make any decision about what to do with your family home in divorce, you need to know its current value. You need to have it appraised by an independent third-party, so you know how much its worth.

The appraisal will be based on how much comparable properties are selling for in your area. Even if you have unique features in your home, such as a backyard basketball court, those may not add as much value as you think.

Dividing a home’s assets

Once the appraisal is complete, you and your spouse (along with your attorneys’ help) will need to decide how you’ll split any equity you have in the home. Remember: you’ll need to split paying off the mortgage and any realtor fees and taxes if you sell the home.

Also, if you and your spouse decide to sell the home, a current appraisal will help you set the home’s price.

Because Ohio is an equitable property division state, if one of you did a lot of maintenance, repairs or upgrades of the home, that spouse may claim more than 50% of the home’s assets. Or if one of you owned the property before you were married, but you both contributed toward mortgage and upkeep costs, one of you still may get more than 50% of the home’s assets.

Once you know how you and your spouse will spit the equity in your home, you’ll need to evaluate if you can afford to buy your spouse out. You may need to refinance the home and give your spouse other assets (perhaps, more of your retirement funds) in order to give your ex their fair share of the home’s value.

Seeking an attorney’s help

You should work closely with a divorce attorney throughout this process of getting a home appraisal and dividing property assets with your spouse. You want to ensure your interests are represented well and you get valuable advice on what assets you may be entitled to.

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