What Happens To The Home In a Divorce?

Home and the Divorce

One of the main concerns of a divorcing couple is, “What happens to the house?” One or both parties may want to stay in the family home for various reasons. This may or may not be possible since, in their new life as ex-spouses, the family income will now be supporting two households.  We can help provide options.

First Step: Get an Appraisal

It is vital to know what the actual fair market value of the home actually is. Getting an appraisal by a certified professional is important. They generally charge a flat fee. That is the only way to begin negotiations, so we know what there is to divide. We also need to know what the mortgage payments are and whose name or names are on the real property documents.

List the Home for Sale and Divide the Proceeds

If the parties agree to sell the property, they can then divide the proceeds however they decide to such as: 50/50, 60/40, etc. As long as they both agree on the division, we can put the agreement in writing and get it filed with the court.

One Party Stays in the House and Refinances

As part of the divorce division, we can prepare documents to be sure there is a legal transfer of the deeds. The party who stays in the home will need to refinance the mortgage, so it is in that person’s name only and the other party’s name will need to be removed.

We also need to be sure the name of the party not staying in the home is removed as a responsible party from all mortgage documents and the deed to the home.

When the parties agree to this solution, we normally establish a deadline for the refinancing to be complete. We also want to be sure that the spouse staying in the home will actually qualify for the refinance.  These are things that can be looked into ahead of time. 

One Party Buys Out the Other

A buyout can be accomplished in several ways. For example, if the house has $60,000 equity, we can agree that half of that is $30,000. We can then take funds from somewhere else in the community property, like a 401k, and award it to the other party. We can move assets around, so the outcome is a 50/50 split of the community property. We will need to change the name of the person on the deed and the mortgage papers, which is similar to what we do if there is a refinance needed on the home.

At Martinez Legal, P.C., we are always her to help you with your unique situation. Our motto is “lawyering with heart.” For more information about how we can help you with your dilemma about your house, the divorce process in general, or answer any of your specific questions about how we can help you, contact us online or by calling 940.320.2992. We can arrange for an in-office social-distancing atmosphere meeting or an online video chat.