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How to Handle Rental Property During Divorce

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A divorce can change every aspect of a person’s life, including your ownership of real estate. In a marriage, property may be owned by the couple, or a single spouse in the marriage. If you own real estate, perhaps a home you rent out or a vacation property you frequently lease, divorce can complicate matters. You may want to keep the property as it generates income for you. Or, you may be ready to wash your hands of the situation and move on. 

Unsure of your situation, but want to protect your rights? We can help you. The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC can help you with rental property during a divorce in Fairfax, VA. We serve clients across Northern Virginia, navigating this and other elements of complicated divorce matters. 

How Should Rental Property be Handled During a Divorce?

The first step in this process is understanding what you desire. Handling rental property during divorce is similar to most other assets you may own. You must consider if maintaining it the way it is, selling it, or otherwise dividing the asset is best for your current and long-term outcome. 

Our goal as your divorce team in Fairfax, VA is to help you pursue the best legal outcome in your situation based on what your desired results from the divorce process are. Yet, there are some legal do’s and don’t’s you’ll want to be aware of, for instance:

  • Don’t try to hide the property you own during a divorce.
  • Ensure you are open and transparent about the value of that property.
  • Report the income from that property, along with all expenses that may reduce its overall value.

It’s ultimately up to you to determine the best goal for yourself. You may want to maintain the property so it can continue to provide an income for you, or you may want to let your spouse take over ownership of it so you can keep another asset, such as the main home. Negotiations with the help of a skilled divorce attorney can help to reach a desirable outcome for the parties. If that’s not possible, the court may have to decide the most equitable way to divide the value of this asset.

How Could Rental Property Be Split Between Exes During a Divorce?

There are often several ways that exes can split rental property during divorce in Fairfax, VA. 

Sell the Property

This is usually the most straight-forward method of division. It enables the sale of the property that is co-owned by both parties. There are tax implications to factor into this process, especially if the property has increased in value since you purchased it. You will need to ensure the property’s value is fully understood. The profits from the sale could be split in the divorce fairly.

Offer an Equivalent Asset

Another option for managing rental property during divorce in Virginia is to offer an equivalent exchange. For example, one spouse may wish to keep the property. To do so, they may have to concede the value of another asset the couple own. This may include paying off the other party to take full ownership of the property. Other times, it may be possible to negotiate terms based on other real property owned by the couple. There could be tax implications during this process should the property be sold from one party to the other.

Operate the Rental Together

Though not an option in every situation, it is beneficial for some property owners to consider the long-term management of the rental property after divorce. Both parties must believe they can continue to work together amicably to maintain the ownership and management of the property. If this is possible, then both parties should set up a legally binding agreement for managing the rental property during the divorce process.

This should outline:

  • Who will be responsible for maintenance
  • How will profits from the property be divided 
  • Who will handle upgrades and repairs
  • How will real estate taxes be handled
  • Consider the end-game – what happens if one party wishes to leave the contract later?
  • How will disputes be managed?

Having a legal agreement in place helps to provide guidance on how the rental agreement will be managed over time. While these are some of the most common ways rental property can be damaged during divorce, it may be possible to develop alternatives that work for your specific situation. 

At The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC, we can help you craft a solution that works in your specific situation and meets all requirements under Virginia law. Reach out to us now to learn more about those options.

Would It Be Possible to Continue Co-Owning Rental Property After a Divorce?

In situations where the rental property is an income earner or has been held by the couple for a long time, selling it or splitting may feel as if it is not the ideal option. With the help of our legal team, we can work with both parties to create a legally binding agreement that protects you both.

Consider what this could mean:

  • You could continue to receive the income from the property.
  • It may impact receipt of alimony if one party receives funds.
  • You will need to communicate about the property on an ongoing basis.
  • Both parties may still be responsible for lawsuits or other legal matters related to the property. 
  • It may mean long-term financial strife if the property fails in some way.
  • Utilizing a property management company could help to provide some division and personal interaction if needed, but adds to the cost.

Take some time to thoroughly examine your options here. If you want to move forward with co-owning the property, you may need to structure your asset division in a way that will provide an adequate compromise for both parties.

Allow Our Divorce Attorney to Help You

Addressing rental property during the divorce process can be complex. Even if you think you know what you want the outcome to be, allow our divorce attorney in Fairfax, VA to help you. Choose an attorney who has experience managing rental property after a divorce. 

Contact The Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury, PLC now for a consultation. We serve residents throughout Northern Virginia.

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