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You can keep your home during a divorce

April 14, 2020 | Firm News

Don’t assume that you have no choice but to sell your house just because you and your spouse have decided to get divorced. You may very well be able to keep it, which is often alluring because it makes the transition to your single life simpler, and for parents, because it gives the children a bit more consistency.

The first and perhaps most important thing to consider, though, is that your home is likely listed with your marital assets. It is not yours alone. This means that keeping it — unless you decide on something unorthodox like living with your ex — means you have to give up something else. Half of the value of the house is yours, but you have to make up the other half to buy out your spouse. Some people do this with cash, others do it by “trading” assets like retirement accounts. Every situation is unique.

The second thing to consider is that if you’re still paying on the mortgage, you need to buy out that mortgage, as well. You don’t want to be responsible for it with your ex. You need to get a new loan, essentially refinancing so that it’s just under your name. Your ex will probably insist on this since they would be responsible for the joint mortgage if you stopped paying. If you get a loan yourself, they have no more obligation, and they can just walk away from the house.

So, while it may get a bit more complicated, you can see that keeping the home is possible. Just make sure you know what steps you will need to take to make everything go smoothly.

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