From Mortgages to Appraisals
Video Transcribed: Hi, Pete Knowles, Bartlesville attorney. Divorces and property division.
Often in divorces, one of the parties will own property prior to the marriage, which is generally considered separate property. And then the property acquired during the marriage would be considered marital. There are instances where a party acquires property, sometimes real estate, and that will be subject to a mortgage. They acquire that prior to the marriage, but then they may pay down the debt on that real estate and even improve the property during the marriage. And so how does the court handle that?
Well, typically with regard to real estate, the party that is the non-owning spouse, the party that did not own the property prior to marriage, will be required, it’ll be their burden or responsibility at trial, to show the increase in value acquired during the marriage due to joint efforts. And so joint efforts in paying down the mortgage, joint efforts in enhancing the value of the property or improvements.
How can this be done? Generally, there are going to be appraisals. There’s going to be an appraisal done of the current value of the property. And then there’ll need to be also an appraisal of the value of the property at the time of marriage. That difference would be the increase in value. There are other particulars in the case law as to how the court is supposed to assess the marital portion of that real estate.
It’s important to have an attorney that’s familiar with the case law on this issue and can prepare the case accordingly using the experts and the exhibits that will be necessary at trial. If you would like more information or need a divorce lawyer in Oklahoma, contact me at bartlesvilleattorney.com.