Options for Dealing with Real Estate in Your Washington State Divorce

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Options for Dealing with Real Estate in Your Washington State Divorce
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 3/11/2024


Going through a divorce is undoubtedly a challenging and emotional process, and one of the most significant assets that often needs addressing is real estate. Deciding what to do with the family home or other properties can be a complex and critical aspect of divorce negotiations. While creativity is often the limit for dealing with divorce settlements, below are four viable options for handling real estate in your divorce in Washington State.

Option 1: Selling the House for Financial Equalization
One straightforward way to deal with real estate in a divorce is to sell the house and use the proceeds to equalize the financial settlement between the spouses. This option ensures a clean break, allowing both parties to move forward independently. The sale proceeds can be divided according to the terms agreed upon in the divorce settlement, providing a clear and fair resolution.

Option 2: Buyout through Cash-out Refinance and Deed Transfer
Another common option is for one party to buy out the other's interest in the property. This can be achieved through a cash-out refinance of the mortgage and a subsequent deed transfer. Essentially, the buying party refinances the existing mortgage, pulling out enough cash to buy out the other spouse's share. This option allows one party to keep the home, providing stability, especially if there are children involved.

Option 3: Buyout Using Other Assets
In some cases, one party may want to keep the house but doesn't have the financial means for a traditional buyout. In such situations, creative solutions can be explored. For instance, the buying party might offer more equity in the house in exchange for a larger share of other assets, such as retirement accounts or stock portfolios. This approach enables a fair distribution of assets while allowing one spouse to retain the family home.

Option 4: Joint Ownership Until a Better Opportunity Arises
When financial constraints or market conditions make an immediate sale or buyout unfeasible, parties may agree to hold onto the property jointly for a period of time. This arrangement, similar to a tenancy or lease, allows both spouses to share ownership responsibilities until a better opportunity arises. This option can be particularly advantageous in a rising real estate market, potentially leading to a more profitable sale in the future.

When it comes to real estate in a Washington State divorce, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Each couple's circumstances are unique, and it's crucial to explore these options carefully with the guidance of experienced legal professionals. If you're navigating a divorce and need assistance with real estate matters, our team of dedicated divorce attorneys is here to help. Call today for a free telephone case evaluation today.

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