Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law
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Breaking up is hard to do if the house splits too

Whether you are working with your partner, or are unable to achieve that level of cooperation at this juncture, there are ways to figure out a division of assets for unmarried couples. If you had the foresight to create a cohabitation agreement at the commencement of your relationship, you may have a substantially easier time now. However, like a prenuptial agreement, many couples are unlikely to have one. Therefore, if you own your home, there are several factors to take into account to determine the share each partner should retain.

When you are determining how you will fare in a breakup, a division of property worksheet can help. If you own your homestead, you should look at the value of the home, less the amount owed, in order to determine the equity. From there you will need to determine what percentage each person retains of that equity. You can do so by answering several questions:

  • Was the home purchased before you cohabited? When?
  • How much was the down payment and where did the funds originate for the downpayment?
  • How much was the final purchase price of the home?
  • How much money was originally mortgaged?
  • How much do you currently owe on the mortgage?
  • Where are mortgage payments (and all escrow inclusions) coming from?
  • Who has paid for improvements and maintenance on the home?
  • Who has put effort into improvements and maintenance on the home?

Once you have answered these questions honestly and fairly, you may want to ensure your partner is in agreement with the answers. If you can come to an agreement, you may be able to stay a course of compromise.

Sometimes agreements of these types are difficult to reach and the assistance of an attorney is necessary to protect your interests. If that is the case, a South Carolina family law attorney may be beneficial, especially if you must go to court. Breakups are not always unpleasant, but the division of assets that follows can create unnecessary headaches if handled in a way that is fed by emotions and not based on facts. Your attorney may be able to ensure that is not the case for you.

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