Going through a divorce is a stressful and emotional time, especially when it comes to dividing joint property. One of the biggest assets that a couple may own together is real estate, such as a house or an apartment. When it comes to dividing this property, there are a few different options, and it’s essential to understand the process to ensure that everything is done correctly. Marina Shepelsky, Esq., the CEO and founding attorney of Shepelsky Law, has extensive experience in real estate closings and divorce law and can help guide you through the process.
In New York, there are three ways that joint real estate property can be divided in a divorce. The first is that one spouse buys out the other. The second is that the other spouse buys out the first. The third is that both spouses sell the property and split the proceeds. Payment is divided in accordance with the divorce agreement. For example, if the divorce agreement is to split assets 50/50, then the third-party buyer will bring half the payment to one spouse, and the remaining balance goes to the other spouse.
It’s important to follow the marriage settlement agreement when dividing joint property in a divorce. If the couple can’t agree, the court will order how to deal with the property. During the process, there must be a mini-closing where the property is transferred to one spouse or the other in accordance with the agreement in the divorce. For example, one spouse may become the 100% owner of the property, and the other spouse will transfer their interest during the closing.
During the closing, the parties will sign and notarize the stock and proprietary lease that cancel the spouses’ two names. The money changes hands in accordance with the divorce settlement agreement, and the new stock certificate is issued in the name of the remaining spouse who takes ownership. If the spouses agree to sell the property, then everyone still has to come to the closing and sign the paperwork for the third party.
In New York City, the closing takes place in the office of the coop, the management company’s office, or at the lawyer’s office. If one spouse needs a mortgage to buy out the other, a mortgage and bank attorney will also be involved. In other places, there are not as many lawyers involved, and the title company takes care of the closings.
It’s essential to work with an experienced attorney who understands both divorce law and real estate closings. Marina Shepelsky, Esq. has extensive experience in both of these areas and can help guide you through the process. She can ensure that everything is done correctly and in accordance with the marriage settlement agreement or court order.
Dividing joint property in a divorce is never easy, but working with the right attorney can make the process smoother and less stressful. Contact Shepelsky Law today to learn more about how we can help with your divorce and real estate needs.