Featured News 2016 Divorce: Who Gets the House?

Divorce: Who Gets the House?

During a divorce, the top priorities usually center on child custody and property division. When a couple owns a home, the house may be the largest asset that the couple shares together. So, one of the couple's first matters of business will be deciding what to do with the house.

If you're headed for a divorce, what would you like to see happen to the house?

These are your options:

  • Sell the house and split the proceeds
  • Keep the house, and buy your spouse out of their share
  • Rent the house out and remain co-owners of the property
  • Remain in the house, and continue living with your spouse (not usually recommended)

When a Spouse Wants to Keep the House

Sometimes a spouse wants to remain in the marital home, especially if they have children or fond memories. If you want to keep the home, the question is, can you afford to keep it?

In order for you to keep the home, you'll need to refinance the mortgage in your name alone. To do that, you must qualify for a loan by yourself, without your spouse's income.

What about selling the house and splitting the proceeds? To make this happen, there must be equity in your home. If you're upside-down on your loan, you'll need to wait it out until the property values increase.

In most cases, it's in the best interests of the couple to sell their home and make a clean break, providing there is enough equity for them to sell.

If you're considering allowing your spouse to live in the home while your name remains on the mortgage, most real estate and divorce attorney advise against this practice.

Your spouse may be the most trustworthy person, but if something happens and they cannot make the mortgage payments, the lender can go after you, regardless of what your divorce decree says.

If you're divorcing and need to sell your home, contact a real estate attorney in this directory for legal advice!

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