How to Keep the House in a Divorce
Through the divorce process, a list of all liabilities and assets is compiled. The goal is to split everything equally so both partners receive an equal share of the community assets. Usually, the value of a home is based on the appraised market value in the current real estate industry, minus the mortgage balance, and any liens on the property.
You Don’t Need to Sell the House
One common misconception is that the house must be sold to tap into the equity of the property. If one of the spouses would like to keep the house, then negotiations can find equal compensation for the other person. Here are a few options you might consider:
· Other Assets: If you have other assets that are comparable in value to the home, then one spouse might keep the home and the other spouse receives assets of comparable value. For example, if you have $200,000 in home equity, then the other person might receive $200,000 in retirement funds.
· Payments Over Time: The spouse who holds ownership of the house makes monthly payments to the other person until the non-owning spouse receives their fair share of the equity.
· Loan and Payment: Consider talking to a mortgage broker to find other solutions for coming up with the cash that is needed. For example, you might be able to qualify for a loan to tap into the equity of the house, then a lump sum payment is provided to buy out the equity of the other spouse.
Since the house is often the biggest asset in the marriage, it’s important to explore all options before jumping to conclusions about selling the property. An experienced divorce lawyer can offer recommendations and help you navigate these negotiations and make the best decision for your situation.
Miles & Hatcher, LLP offers the legal support you need when navigating a divorce. Contact us for a consultation if you are looking for help with asset division, child custody, and more: (909) 481-4080.