It is one of the biggest questions many splitting couples have. What happens to the house?
It’s probably the biggest asset you have and therefore the question can often turn into a huge argument. Many people don’t even know what their rights are to the house if they have been the more “hands-off person” of the union. If the home was purchased after the marriage, then both couples have rights to the property- So even if your NAME is not on the Mortgage Or the deed you still have rights. However, there are many factors involved to see what makes sense from there.
If one party is considering keeping the home, here are things that you need to consider:
- Do I have the funds to buy out my partner? Most likely a judge or your spouse will likely want an appraisal done of the home. If there is equity in the property then a portion of that will need to be paid to your ex. The amount divided can vary from case to case so it’s best to speak with your attorney regarding numbers.
- Once you have determined if you can handle the buyout, then you have to think about the mortgage. If your partner’s name is on the mortgage with you or if your not on the mortgage, you will need to refinance the house. Will your income and credit be enough to make that happen? You will also need to get the Deed changed as well as you don’t want to have the mortgage now solely in your name but have your ex have rights to the house.
- From a long-term aspect, can you afford a house on your own? Will you be able to pay and handle all the repairs as a solo homeowner? I often see couples argue over this prized possession just to find out that down the road being a solo homeowner of a “family Home” isn’t as great as they thought it would be. Sometimes a Fresh start in a more affordable place is the right answer but hard to see when you’re in such an emotional situation
If you are in the beginning stages of talking about what to do next with your home, a great resource is a Certified Divorce Specialist Realtor. They have the tools to go above and beyond a Realtor who is just trying to get the listing. They have been trained to be a neutral party, to review all avenues and options with you, and can work alongside your divorce attorney to expedite matters.