How to divide a property during a divorce: We look at the legal options available
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24 April 2019 - 14:00, by , in NRI, No comments

If the spouse holds the property jointly, their equity can divide it. To reasonably arrive at the individual stakes, you can get the property assessed, by the market value of the property. Also, when a spouse is holding the title of the property jointly, they are required to do the requisite paperwork and transfer the ownership, in the account of one person.

These are the following options accessible if the property is held jointly:

  • Sell the property: Sell the property and share the proceeds based on individual equity. If there is an outstanding loan on the property, then, pay off the mortgage and divide the proceeds as per your share.
  • One spouse can retain the house: If one of the spouses plans to keep the house, then, s/he can buy out the other person’s share by market value. Accordingly, changes should be made on paper and transfer of the title to one person should be made.
  • The house remains a joint property: A couple may decide to hold on to the park, to minimize the tax implication or take advantage of appreciation in the property’s value. In this case, it is necessary that you define the liabilities and claims correctly, in the separation agreement.

Dividing property is a lot easier, in the case of a mutual divorce. In such scenarios, the spouse can decide together, as to how they want to dispose of the property.

When the property’s title is in the name of the husband

As per the current laws, a woman seeking divorce is not entitled to any share in the husband’s estate. As per the current regime, the ownership of the house ceases with the person, who is holding the title. If the title of the property, for example, is in the title of the husband and both, the wife and the husband acquired it together, the wife will have to prove her claim, and the court will settle the same.

 

When the property’s title is in the name of the lady

On the other hand, when men acquire property with their money and register it in the signs of their wives, to avail of the advantage of lower registration fees, in such scenarios, the wife can extend to retain the ownership of the house.

Only when a person can prove in court that he has funded the property acquisition, will he be entitled to a share in the estate, even though the title may be in the account of the other man. In a smooth divorce, one can divide the property through mutual consent, or based on individual contribution or ownership.

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