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Will I get to keep my condo on the beach?

In your late 20s you had a stroke of good fortune, started making more money and you bought a condo on the beach. That condo has been a source of great joy for you over the years, and the thought of giving it up would leave you heartbroken. This is why you’re so concerned about it in your upcoming divorce. Will you get to keep it? Or will you have to let it go?

Asset division questions like this come up frequently in divorce proceedings. When it comes to a piece of real estate like a beach condo, several different scenarios could apply:

You owned the condo before marriage

Let’s say you bought the condo and owned it outright before your marriage. If you never signed it over to joint ownership with your spouse, your condo may be considered separate property and you won’t have to divide it. However, if the condo increased in value significantly during your marriage, you’ll probably have to share this increase in value with your spouse. Also, if you and your spouse put income into improvements and renovations on the condo during your marriage, the increase in value that these renovations created will also be divisible.

You bought or paid for the condo after marriage

Alternatively, let’s say that you and your spouse bought the condo together, after marriage. Or, you continued making mortgage payments on the condominium after getting married. Any purchases, mortgage payments and increases in real estate value after marriage will be deemed a part of the marital estate and they will be divisible.

There’s a solution to every marital asset division scenario

Even if your condo is part of the marital estate, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to give it up. You might be able to trade other property in order to keep it; or, you might be able to take out a new mortgage to pay your ex-spouse his or her share. Either way, it should be easy to find a solution to this common asset division scenario.