Divorce is a difficult process, and one of the most challenging aspects is dividing property. When it comes to the marital home, emotions can run high, and both parties may feel a strong attachment to the property. But who gets the house after a divorce in Utah? Here's what you need to know.
Understanding Utah's Property Division Laws
Utah is an equitable distribution state, which means that property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. This includes the marital home, which is considered marital property if it was purchased during the marriage or if both spouses contributed to its purchase or upkeep. If one spouse owned the house before the marriage, it may be considered separate property, but any increase in value during the marriage may still be subject to division.
Factors that Affect Property Division
When determining how to divide property, the court will consider several factors, including:
- Each spouse's financial situation
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse's contributions to the marriage, including homemaking and child-rearing
- Each spouse's earning capacity and future financial prospects
- The value of the marital property, including the home
- Any agreements made between the spouses, such as a prenuptial agreement
Options for Dividing the Marital Home
There are several options for dividing the marital home after a divorce in Utah:
- Sell the home and split the proceeds. This is often the simplest and most straightforward option, but it may not be ideal if one spouse wants to keep the home.
- Buy out the other spouse's share. If one spouse wants to keep the home, they can buy out the other spouse's share of the equity. This requires determining the value of the home and dividing the equity accordingly.
- Co-own the home. If both spouses want to keep the home, they can continue to co-own it and divide expenses accordingly. This can be challenging, however, as it requires ongoing communication and cooperation.
- Use a deferred sale agreement. This allows one spouse to remain in the home for a set period of time, after which it will be sold and the proceeds divided. This can be helpful if one spouse needs time to find a new home or if the housing market is not favorable for selling.
Working with a Family Law Attorney
Dividing property in a divorce can be complex, especially when it comes to the marital home. Working with an experienced family law attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair division of property.
At Eric M. Swinyard & Associates, PLLC, we understand the challenges of divorce and are committed to helping our clients navigate the process with compassion and expertise.
If you're facing a divorce and need help with property division, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We're here to help.