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Pursuing a fair amount of home equity in a California divorce

California is a community property state, which means that spouses generally share whatever they acquired during their marriage. Some couples invest in stocks or start businesses, but many more acquire real estate together.

The home where they have lived together could be the most valuable property they share. The longer they have owned the home, the more they likely have accrued in equity. Both spouses typically don’t keep the family’s home. One or both spouses move out and need to get a fair amount for their interest in the property. How does someone ensure that they receive an appropriate amount of equity during property division proceedings in California?

Establishing the value

There are many important considerations when preparing for property division in a California divorce. Knowing the fair market value of major assets is one of the most important.

The longer it has been since the home was purchased, the more the home likely has appreciated in value. It is common for those divorcing to significantly underestimate what their home is worth if they have lived there for years.

Real estate professionals are the best option for establishing a reliable home value. Homeowners who divorce can benefit by hiring an appraiser. It is only after determining how much equity the couple has accrued that they can share that equity appropriately. That’s important whether one spouse buys out the other or both spouses sell the home.

It isn’t always necessary to divide equity in the home equally, as one spouse can use other assets or marital debts to balance the financial decisions they make. Getting the right legal guidance can improve your chances of securing a favorable outcome in a California divorce.