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Divorce focus: Making wise choices when dividing real estate

Colorado couples who are entering the divorce process should be prepared to cover a wide range of issues in a relatively short period of time. It is imperative to understand that decisions made during the negotiation process can have lasting consequences. In addition, once the divorce is final there is little chance of making changes down the line.

Handling Real estate can become a contentious issue within the property division process. Many couples spend so much time and energy debating who should keep the house that they often forget to cover all of the lesser details that accompany that determination. For example, when only one spouse is listed on the title to the home but both will remain on the mortgage, multiple problems could result.

In such a scenario, if the spouse who retains the home fails to make timely payments, the other party could experience a significant decline in their credit scores. This could lead to difficulty in obtaining new lines of credit at no fault of their own.

As with all issues concerning divorce, the old adage is likely to apply: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. These and other potential problems can and should be dealt with before the divorce is final. One option is to require that the person staying the home to refinance the property in his or her own name. If this is not possible, other solutions can be worked out that help to protect the spouse who does not receive the home.

The important message from this example is that the time to address these types of details is during the Colorado divorce process, not after.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "In divorce proceedings, careful disposition of real estate is vital," Ilyce Glink & Samuel Tamkin, Oct. 18, 2012

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