Buying a home with your spouse can be a smart investment. You can spend some of your paycheck paying a mortgage instead of paying rent. You typically have more privacy, and you have more control over what you do with the property that you own.
Of course, owning a home will make a divorce more complicated. In Kentucky, couples are subject to equitable distribution laws. If you go to court to divide your property, a judge will try to reach a fair solution for dividing your assets and debts. It’s important to accurately represent your marital estate when preparing documents for a litigated divorce.
You must diligently avoid one of the more common property division mistakes, especially if you try to reach a settlement outside of court,
Don’t assume you know what your house is worth
Did you know that between 2020 and 2021, property values in Kentucky increased by an average of 15%? The Lexington area in particular has been a very popular market recently, so local properties may have seen even more of an increase than others around the state.
The longer it has been since you bought the house, the more likely it is that the price is tens of thousands of dollars more than you originally paid. If you made improvements to the property, those will also affect what its current fair market value is.
You may need to bring in a professional to put a price on the property. If your spouse pays for an appraisal, you may even want to bring in your own professional for a second appraisal to make sure that they didn’t undervalue the home.
You need to know the true value of the home to claim a fair share of it in your divorce. Ensuring that you put the proper value on your house will help protect you as you negotiate terms in a Kentucky divorce.