One of the most challenging parts of going through the divorce process can be separating everything you bought together, especially when there are children involved. If you’ve been together a long time, then it’s likely that most of the big purchases were made by both of you jointly.
This can leave divorcing couples questioning whether they must sell the family home. This can be especially challenging when one spouse wants to sell, and the other doesn’t.
Property division must be equitable
Hawaii divorce courts require the division of property to be carried out in an equitable way. This doesn’t necessarily mean an even split, but it does mean that it needs to be done fairly.
All property acquired after marriage, or bought jointly, is usually considered marital property by the courts and needs to be split between parties if they cannot agree on what should happen to it.
The options available to a divorcing couple in Hawaii with regard to their marital home are:
- Sell and split the proceeds.
- Keep the property, and one party lives there. This may be attractive when one party has custody of young children.
- Keep it together as a rental property.
- If the parties also own a vacation home, they can choose to each take one of the properties.
If the court intervenes and how to divide up the divorcing couple’s property, it will consider a wide range of factors, including the length of the marriage, the income of each party and the effect on the children.
Divorce is often a difficult and emotive process and one that no one hopes they ever have to go through. Knowing what rights you have to your property helps you to protect yourself legally.