Divorce and options regarding a family home

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in divorce on Monday, April 25, 2016.

Few words stir up as many feelings, emotions and memories as the word home. For most people, home is the place where they feel the most comfortable and happy and where they spend time with the people in their lives who mean the most. For parents, home is the place where a child took his or her first steps and experienced many other firsts. Given the significant place that a family home holds in the hearts of many people, it’s no wonder that divorcing couples often struggle when it comes to figuring out what to do with a family home.

While it may be a difficult decision for everyone involved, selling a family home is often the best option. Selling a home frees both spouses from the emotional and financial baggage and burdens associated with a home. Additionally, selling a home and splitting the profits can provide each spouse with what may be much-needed and available assets until a divorce is finalized.

In cases where one spouse wants to stay in the home, it’s important that steps are taken to absolve the other spouse of any legal and financial obligations. The easiest way to accomplish this goal is to refinance the home in only the one spouse’s name. This means, however, that the spouse who wishes to stay in the house must provide proof to the bank that he or she is able to afford the mortgage payments.

In cases where a spouse doesn’t qualify for the mortgage on his or her own, an individual may consider remaining on the deed so that an ex, and possibly one’s children, can remain in the family home. However, doing so is never a good idea as this means that an individual is financially responsible should an ex default on the mortgage. Additionally, unless an individual meets certain income requirements, it can difficult to impossible to purchase or rent another home or apartment.

In cases where a divorcing couple disagrees about what to do with a family home, an attorney can assist in the negotiating and decision-making process.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, “Here’s how to handle your mortgage when you get divorced,” Ashley Eneriz, April 8, 2016

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