For most married couples, the home that they live in while married is the biggest asset that they own. Depending on the location of the property, real estate in Hawaii can be worth an incredible amount of money. Even modest homes in the right location carry substantial price tags.
Properties can accrue value over the length of your marriage, and the market value of your home can go up as demand increases the price for homes on the local market. Anyone facing the likely end of their marriage would be wise to think about the property values in Hawaii and how that will affect their financial circumstances after the divorce. Making the right choices now will lay the foundation for a better future.
Put an accurate value on your marital home
The first step toward protecting your interest in a portion of the home's equity is determining the actual value of the house. Unless you purchased your home in the last six months, there is a good chance that the fair market value of your home has likely changed.
Certain real estate websites can give you an automated estimate of the value of your home, but that number won't reflect any special features of your home or damages that could affect the property value. Talking to a real estate professional, such as an appraiser, can help you put a fair price on the home based on its current condition and local markets.
From there, you can take steps to determine what a fair portion of your equity in the home actually is. You need to know the actual market value of your home in order for you to provide the courts with an accurate property inventory. That step is critical to a fair asset division outcome.
Consider mediation if there is a specific housing outcome you want
Divorce mediation involves sitting down with your ex, your individual attorneys and a professional mediator to arrange workable compromises for the outstanding issues in your divorce. Unlike a litigated divorce, where the judge retains most of the power, a mediated divorce keeps the right to make decisions in the hands of the people ending the marriage.
When you have specific wishes, such as retaining residence in the marital home, mediation can be a better choice. You won't have much control or influence over what the courts rule in your case. However, you do have the authority to negotiate aggressively with your ex to solidify the terms that mean the most to you.
Whether you want to cash out your equity or stay in your home, mediation can be a way to make a divorce in Florida quicker and less stressful. Even if you cannot mediate your divorce, knowing the value of your home and your approximate share of equity in it can help you make more informed decisions as you initiate the divorce proceedings.