During discussion of property division in divorce, most conversation centers on the home. For many families, the house is the most valuable asset. The divorcing couple determines what happens to the home and where each will live in the future. Divorce attorneys will tell you exactly what to do with your house when you divorce! Speaking to an expert divorce lawyer that specializes in division of property is easy, and you can do so with a free consultation today!
Who Gets the House in Divorce?
If the couple purchased the home together after the marriage and the income of both individuals was used to pay the mortgage or purchase it outright, the house is considered marital property in divorce. This means that each spouse is entitled to a share considered both fair and equitable. One spouse should not receive the house without compensating the other in some way.
The couple may decide to sell the home and split the money from the sale. There are multiple factors to consider in this situation including who lives in the home while it is listed for sale, who will pay for necessary repairs, and who will pay the mortgage, property taxes, and homeowner insurance until the home is sold. Couples must also determine what to do if the home is appraised for less than the mortgage balance or if the home is not sold before the divorce is finalized.
If one spouse purchased the home before getting married, state law may consider it nonmarital property that is not subject to division. In this case, the spouse who owned the home before the marriage is awarded the property. However, factors like home improvements and increases in property value must be taken into account. An attorney can help a client determine which portion of the current value is marital and which is nonmarital property. This ensures fair property division and brings the divorce to conclusion more quickly.
Divorce court forms supplied by many states provide only one option with real estate. However, there are several options for property division in divorce other than providing one spouse with a hundred percent of the house. An experienced divorce attorney explains each option clearly, provides advice regarding applicable state law, and adds or changes language in divorce forms to protect the interests of a client.
There is only one chance to divide marital property in divorce so it is important to do it correctly. When speaking with their attorneys, divorcing clients should be clear about whether they want the house in divorce. The divorce attorney will then structure the conversations and forms to correspond with this, presenting a detailed case to the court.