Dealing With Real Estate During a Divorce & Separation in Airdrie

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a divorce, staring at your shared home and thinking, “What on earth do we do with the house?” If you have, you’re not alone. It’s a common crossroads for many couples.

When dealing with real estate during a divorce, there is a lot you need to do. This includes:

  • Get a Good Divorce Attorney
  • Understanding Matrimonial Property Laws
  • Valuation and Decision Making
  • Deciding to Sell or Keep the Property
  • Handling the Mortgage

Here’s the thing: navigating this doesn’t have to be a journey through uncharted territory.  Yes, the real estate market is complex, and divorce proceedings can get messy.

But whether it’s reaching an amicable agreement on who gets the house or figuring out how to split the profit from a sale, there’s a way through this maze.

We’ll explore eight tips for couples in Airdrie, like you, on managing their real estate affairs during a divorce or separation.

1. Get a Good Divorce Attorney

Let’s talk about getting legal advice. In Airdrie, going through a divorce can get pretty complicated. Trust us, having a good divorce attorney by your side isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity.

They’re your guide through a maze that can sometimes feel like it’s changing every time you blink. Think of your lawyer as a translator.

They take all that legal jargon – property rights, mortgage debt, and division of assets – and turn it into plain English. They’re there to make sure you don’t sign something that might come back to haunt you.

This includes an unfair division of your house or taking on more mortgage payments than you can handle. Your attorney is your advocate, your voice in negotiations, and, if needed, in divorce court.

Especially in Airdrie, having a legal pro in your corner makes the difference between a fair deal and a raw deal.

2. Understanding Matrimonial Property Laws

Now, let’s untangle the knot of matrimonial property laws. Different rules apply in Airdrie, whether you’re a married couple or a common-law spouse.

For married ones, there’s this concept of community property. Think of it like a big pot where almost everything you earned or bought while married goes in.

Then, when you split, you each get a share. But, and this is a big problem, not everything falls into this pot. Gifts or inheritances, for example, often don’t.

For common law spouses, it’s more about who put what into the relationship.

Did one of you come into the relationship with a house? Did the other pay for a chunk of the mortgage? These things matter when you’re divvying up your stuff.

And prenuptial agreements? They’re like a roadmap for your divorce settlement. If you have one, it will make the whole process smoother.

It’s like saying, “Hey, we already thought about this, and here’s what we agreed on.” No fuss, no muss. The goal is to reach an agreement that feels fair, whether it’s:

  • Sorting out your share of the family assets
  • Figuring out who keeps the house
  • Or deciding if one of you needs to buy the other out.

It’s about finding a solution that lets everyone walk away feeling okay – ready to start their new chapter on the right foot.

3. Valuation and Decision Making

Let’s start with property valuation. This is like getting the scales out to see how much your shared home weighs in dollars. In Airdrie, this step is about understanding its true market value.

Why is this important? It’s the starting block for any discussions about selling, splitting profits, or deciding if you can afford to buy the other out.

So, how do we figure out what your house is worth? You could call in a local real estate agent. They’ll look at everything from the size of your kitchen to recent property sales in your neighbourhood.  

They’ve got their finger on the market’s pulse and will give you a good idea of what homes like yours are selling for. Here’s the kicker: the value of your home is a key player in negotiations. 

Think of it as a reference point in your discussions. If you know your home’s worth a certain amount, it’s easier to talk about:

  • Fair shares
  • Mortgage balances
  • Or even how much a spouse might pay to become the sole owner.

4. Deciding to Sell or Keep the Property

Moving on to deciding whether to sell or keep the property. This isn’t a decision to make on a whim.

You’ve got to consider the numbers and what feels right. Selling might seem like the cleanest cut, especially if neither can pay the mortgage alone.

But remember, selling also means dealing with a lot—all while managing the emotional rollercoaster of a divorce. This includes:

  • Real estate agents
  • Property listings
  • The process of waiting for the right buyer to come along.

On the other hand, maybe one of you wants to keep the house. This could be because of emotional attachment, stability for kids, or just loving where you live in Airdrie.

If that’s the case, we’re talking about a buyout. This means figuring out how much one spouse needs to pay the other to take over the house completely.

It’s like balancing the scales to ensure everyone feels the deal is fair. In both scenarios, it’s about reaching an agreement.

It is also about agreeing to respect your financial realities and emotional states. 

5. Handling the Mortgage

There’s this big question hanging in the air: “Who’s going to keep paying the mortgage?” This part is important, especially during the selling process.

If you’re selling the house, the mortgage must still be paid until the sale is complete. Missing payments will hurt both your credit scores.

This affects your future, too – like getting a loan for a car or another house.  So, how do you decide who pays? It’s a mix of looking at who can afford it and what’s fair. 

Sometimes, one person keeps making the payments, which gets balanced out in the final division of assets. Or, you both might chip in until the house sells.

It’s like splitting the bill at a restaurant; you both ate, so you both pay.

6. Joint Mortgage Considerations

Now, let’s say both of your names are on the mortgage. This is where things get a bit more complex. You might be thinking about refinancing – this is like redoing your mortgage deal so it’s in just one person’s name. 

Refinancing might sound simple, but there’s a catch. The person taking over must have sufficient income to convince the bank they can handle it alone. 

If you’ve been relying on two incomes, this might be a bit of a hurdle. And what if refinancing isn’t an option? You might look at applying for a new mortgage.

It could be a good move, especially if you get better terms – maybe a lower interest rate or a better payment plan. In both cases, talking to a mortgage broker is a big help.

They’ll look at your income, credit score, and future plans and then help you find the best option. Your real estate agent will recommend the best one, so you should not worry about this.

7. The Sale Process

The first step is to choose the right real estate agent. Think of them as your director, someone who knows the Airdrie market inside and out and will make sure your house sells fast.

They’re like the friend who tells you honestly what needs to change for your home to sell. Next up is setting a listing price.

Make sure to balance what you’d like to get with what people pay for houses like yours. Your agent is a huge help here. They look at everything to give you a realistic picture.

Then, there’s home improvements and repairs. This could be anything from fixing that leaky faucet to giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. 

It’s like making sure your house puts its best foot forward. Little touches will mean thousands of dollars more in your pocket at the end of the day.

If you’re curious about more tips, read this blog: best tips on how to sell a home in Airdrie. It’s packed with information that will make a difference in your approach to selling.

8. Dividing the Sale Proceeds

When the house sells, there’s a decent chunk of change to split. First, you’ve got to figure out the equity division. Imagine your house’s sale price is a big pie.

Equity is how much of that pie is yours to divide after paying off the mortgage balance and any other debts tied to the house. It’s about what’s fair, considering what each of you contributed.

Negotiating the split is tricky. Sometimes, you can do this amicably, with a mutual agreement that feels right to both of you.

Other times, you might need more help, like a mediator or even your divorce attorneys, to reach an equitable agreement. This step sets the tone for your financial future post-divorce.

It’s about closing a chapter in a way that lets you both move forward, hopefully on good terms.

Your New Beginning: We’ve Got You Covered

Phew, that was a lot to take in! But you don’t have to carry this weight alone. As real estate agents of the Maverick Group, we’re here to lift most of that burden off your shoulders.

We’ll help with property prices, division of property, and even tackling property disputes. We know that dealing with separate property and marital assets during a divorce process is overwhelming.

But we’ll ensure that it will be handled fairly so you can focus on what matters—moving forward and starting your new life. An amicable divorce and a fair division of property are what you deserve.

And with our help, you’ll get there. With the divorce process, you’ve got enough on your plate; let us take care of the real estate.

So, don’t worry about the heavy lifting. We’ve got that covered. 

Derek Timmons

Derek Timmons

Derek is a top performing REALTOR® in Airdrie, Alberta, Canada. Aside from knowing the market, he uses his knowledge and experience in construction to help clients understand exactly what they’re in for when buying and selling real estate.

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