When a married couple decides to end their marriage, one of the most difficult decisions may be deciding which spouse gets the house in a divorce. Division of property when a marriage ends is tricky, confusing and has long-lasting ramifications on each spouses future. Lucky for you, we have answers to this common question and expert family law attorneys waiting to speak with you to let you know how they can help your situation. Dividing property during a divorce can be difficult, particularly when attention turns toward the family home. If both spouses want to remain in the home, an argument may ensue. This can turn an uncontested divorce into a contested one, forcing the couple to go to court so a judge can decide who will retain the home. Involving a court adds time and expense to the divorce process. Speak to a family law professional right now and streamline your divorce process to save time, emotions, and money!
Do You Deserve to Keep the House in a Divorce?
The best way to determine who gets the house is to agree without intervention from a judge. A mediator or local family law attorney can help spouses deal with this situation. Through negotiation, one spouse may agree to give the house to the other in exchange for an asset of comparable value. This may involve the transfer of both physical items and cash. The spouse who retains the home may opt to keep it and live in it or may wish to eventually rent or sell the property.
If one spouse purchased the home prior to the marriage and is the sole owner, the house might not be considered marital property in divorce. It depends on whether both spouses made mortgage payments, the other spouse invested money to remodel the home, and other factors. If the value of the property increased during the marriage, that increase is often considered marital property and, therefore, subject to division during a divorce.
Some couples would rather sell their homes and divide the proceeds. This is permitted but the process can be complicated, so accounting and legal assistance are recommended. Cash received from the sale can serve as a down payment on a new home, allowing each former spouse to start fresh without memories of the failed marriage. Keep in mind that when a house needs to be sold in a divorce, costs such as Realtor commissions (up to 6% of the sale price in many areas of the country), back tax bills, and closing costs from the title insurance company can add up fast. Sometimes, if little or no equity is in the home, its better to be the spouse that walks away rather than the spouse that keeps the house in a divorce.
A spouse who inherits a home prior to the marriage and retains sole ownership will not usually need to include it in marital assets. However, an extra measure of precaution in the form of a prenuptial agreement is wise. A family law attorney will draft a sound document that will hold up in court if the couple divorces in the future.
The home is arguably the biggest cause of disagreement during property division in divorce. Agreeing who will retain ownership is better than fighting over the issue in court. Get legal assistance to make this process as simple and inexpensive as possible. Whether you want the home, want your spouse to have it, or prefer to sell it, a family lawyer will help make this happen. Speak to an expert divorce attorney today and find out if you deserve to get the house in a divorce!