When a couple decides to get a divorce, one of the first things they must figure out is who gets to keep the house after a divorce. A few different factors will go into this decision, like financial health and home equity. Take a look at this helpful guide to help you through this process.
Establishing Who Needs the House More After a Divorce
The first thing you should look at is who has been the primary caregiver for the children. If one parent has been taking care of the kids while the other works, then that parent is more likely to be awarded custody of the home. The court will also look at who has been paying the mortgage and other bills associated with the home. If one spouse has been doing most of these things, they are more likely to be awarded house ownership. If the factors are split evenly among each spouse, then it’s challenging to differentiate the likelihood of ownership.
The spouse with a higher income and lower expenses may be better able to afford to keep the home. If both parties have similar incomes and costs, it may come down to who has been living in the home longer or who has more ties to the community. In some cases, one party may agree to let the other party keep the house in exchange for other assets or alimony payments. In other cases, accessibility to new places may be debatable. While moving companies in Maryland can relocate anyone with ease, it may be best to figure out which spouse is at a more significant disadvantage if they had to move. Factors like job location and schools typically impact this decision.
Another factor that the court will consider is how much money each party would need to move out of the home. If one spouse cannot afford to move out on their own, they may be awarded homeownership as part of their divorce settlement. The court will also examine whether either party plans on moving soon or if there is another compelling reason why one party should keep possession of the house. In most cases, both spouses will have to move out of the house after a divorce. However, there are some instances where only one spouse needs to leave. It is important to speak with an attorney about your specific situation to understand your rights and options moving forward. In complex cases, it’s best to hire a reputable Denver divorce lawyer to help guide you through the process.
Evaluating the House’s Value
Both spouses should evaluate the house’s value. An easy way to do this is by determining the equity in the home, which is done by subtracting any outstanding mortgages or loans from the current market value of the house, then multiplying that number by 100. If there is negative equity, meaning the mortgage or loan amount is more than the home’s value, neither party can realistically keep the house, and it will likely have to be sold. A real estate agent can help estimate by looking at recent sales in the area.
Once you have an idea of the home’s value, you need to consider all of its costs. These costs include mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and repairs and maintenance expenses. You also need to consider what would happen if one spouse kept the home and divorced again. Would that spouse be able to afford to keep the home on their own? If not, they may have to sell it and split the proceeds with their former spouse.
Selling or Refinancing the Home
If one spouse wants to keep the home and the other wants to sell it, they may be able to negotiate a split of the proceeds. If one spouse wants to buy out the other’s share of the home, they will need to come up with a fair price that considers both spouses’ equity in the property. If neither party can agree on what to do with the home, they may have to go through a formal legal proceeding called a “divorce sale.”
Ultimately, many factors need to be considered when deciding who gets to keep the house after a divorce, and no one answer is suitable for everyone.