When you begin wading into the tricky waters of divorce, finding a way to fairly divide marital assets can be tricky. This is especially true for couples without children who have few assets other than a house. If you have concerns about who will keep the house or whether to keep it at all, don’t worry — there are solutions to all of these concerns, even if they are not what you might prefer.
The first thing you need to understand is whether the house is actually marital property. If one spouse bought the house before the marriage and did so with only his or her single income qualifying for the mortgage, then the house may not actually be marital property up for division. However, this is rarely the case for young couples.
If you bought the house together, and both of your names are on the mortgage, then you need to carefully consider whether either of you can afford to keep the home individually. Paying the mortgage on a single income may not be feasible, let alone accounting for repair and maintenance costs and tax obligations. In many cases, the wisest option is to sell the home and negotiate a fair division of the profit or loss from the sale.
Should one party insist on keeping the home, they must find a way to take the other spouse’s name off the mortgage. Otherwise, you’ll be divorce but still tied closely to each other’s financial decisions, which can severely damage either person’s credit down the road or make it difficult for the individual who does not keep the house to obtain other loans if they are still carrying the mortgage.
Don’t hesitate to seek out the help you need to sort out fair property division during a divorce. Professional guidance from an experienced attorney can make sure that your divorce remains fair while protecting your rights and future prospects after the divorce finalizes.
Source: FindLaw, “Divorce Property Division FAQ,” accessed Aug. 04, 2017