Dividing a Home during Divorce

When it comes to owning a home, divorce is something that many people never think about. During a divorce, it will be necessary to divide all of your assets including your home. Here are the basics of dividing a home during a divorce.

When a Spouse Leaves

Many times, a spouse will decide to leave the house even though both spouses own it jointly. When this happens, it does not alleviate the obligation that comes with owning a home. Both spouses are still equally obligated to the mortgage and are required to make the payment.

Filing for Divorce

When a couple files for divorce, there will inevitably be a delay before the divorce is final. In this case, sometimes a judge will give a temporary ruling that says that a spouse should continue to make the mortgage payment. The couple will have to be bound by the decision of the judge or risk punishment at the hands of the court in the future.

Settlement

The couple has the right to negotiate the terms of their divorce before getting in front of a judge. If the couple can amicably come to a decision as to who should keep the house, this would be the easiest solution available. Otherwise, you will have to abide by whatever ruling the judge gives. The judge will do her best to give a fair ruling, but not everyone is satisfied with the judgment in some cases.

Judgment

If the couple is unable to agree on a solution about the house, a judge will step in and make the decision for them. The judge will look at many different factors including whether there are children involved and where they would live. She will also look at the income situation for both spouses and how much spousal support will be paid.

Awarding the House

After evaluating all of the available facts, the judge might decide to award the house to a particular person. In this event, that person will be able to continue living in the house, and the other individual will have to make other living arrangements. When this happens, the person that stays in the house often has to come up with a lump sum to pay the other party for his or her equity in the home.

Selling the House

In some cases, the judge will recommend that the house be sold. In this case, the couple will have to put the home on the market and wait for it to sell. When the house sells, the proceeds from the sale of the house will go towards paying off the mortgage. If there is anything left over from the sale, the profit will be split equally between the two parties. This is often the easiest way to handle splitting up a home during a divorce. It makes sure that each party gets an equal value in the divorce.

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