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How Can I Keep My House In A Divorce

How Can I Keep My House In A Divorce

Marital Home

Letting go of your marital home can be very difficult in a divorce because you’ve gotten attached to it, afraid of change, or it’s their comfort place. It’s not always the best decision to make, especially if you have kids and even financials. It’s tough to pay for everything by yourself if you can hardly afford it.
In various cases, due to financial, legal, or personal reasons selling a house during a divorce make sense. Some might ask “How Can I Keep My House in A Divorce” because they don’t want the idea of losing the home where they build and created memories with their family. Dealing with divorce is a tough situation for everyone and deciding whether to keep or sell the marital home could be one of the hardest decisions you can make.

How Can I Keep My House in a Divorce?

If there is a mortgage, then deciding to keep the home is more complicated. The simplest way for you to keep your house in a divorce if it has a mortgage is to refinance. If you don’t have enough income or cash to pay for the house outright you will need to refinance for you to pay your ex-spouse partly of the existing equity.

You can negotiate with your ex-spouse to keep the mortgage on both of your names on the title or deed. You have to make sure that the one taking it is financially responsible for making mortgage payments, insurance, and other expenses in the future. Take note that if a payment was missed and both parties are on the mortgage lender will look into both parties as equally responsible. And missed payments will impact both of your credit scores.

Selling A House During a Divorce

It can be a lengthy process, but it is typically a less controversial choice than worrying about who gets the rights to the house after a divorce. If you’re selling a house during a divorce, you need quite a lot of preparations. Before listing it for sale, make sure to check if there are things that need to be fixed, maintained, and changed. In addition, it’s also best to hire a real estate professional to determine the value of the marital home, whether reducing or increasing the price is necessary. If repairs, upgrades, and other payments are needed, discussing it with your spouse is a must. They should agree on it to avoid any more expenses and problems. In exchange, it will be convenient for both parties afterward.

Marital Home

When a marriage fails and results in a divorce a marital home is a joint asset. Courts usually divide the marital home equally. As an outcome, the one seeking to keep the marital home in a divorce needs to draw on his or her share of separate assets to buy out the interest of her ex-spouse in the marital home.

Choosing a Buy Out

Considering a buyout can also work in a variety of ways. This option is usually included in your divorce agreements. Once it is settled that you will be staying in the home, it’s most likely that your ex may not exactly feel generous enough to just pack their bags and sign the deed over to you and will likely expect you to buy them out of their share of the house. While this may not have worked for everybody, it still depends on your specific situation and how well you and your spouse can negotiate together during the divorce process.

 What Happens When You Retire and Divorce?

In most states’ laws, retirement plans earned during the marriage are considered marital property to be divided in a divorce. Therefore, it is advised for the divorcing couple to include these assets in their divorce order and property settlement agreement negotiations.

What happens to a property during a divorce?

An agreement will likely happen. If both parties are planning to sell and divide the money they’ll get, they both get to decide whether the other one or sometimes the two of them will stay while the property is listed. In some cases, when a couple is really on a bad term, they vacate the home and just show up in a court hearing. It also favors the one who paid for the property itself sometimes.

Is My Spouse Entitled to my inheritance?

It matters on many factors including where you lived because each state will govern how to address your inheritance. The good thing is the majority of states, your inheritance is considered a separate property belonging to the one who received it and it can’t be divided in a divorce.

Is Selling a House During a Divorce Fast?

It depends on what terms you are in with your partner. Arguments and other conflicts might complicate and slow down the process of selling it. You need to sort out things before finally getting rid of the house and often communication with your spouse is necessary to discuss the conditions with them which can be very stressful. But if both parties can negotiate, they will eventually find people who are willing to buy despite the situation.

Pros of Selling A House During a Divorce

  • Selling a house during a divorce means you are still legally married. That said, you will have combined capital gains exclusion.
  • Choosing to sell the house privately is simpler rather than letting the judge decide legally on who’s keeping it.
  • It can be a fresh start for both parties. While you will always have joyful memory and experience, leaving will cause the sad ones to gradually disappear.

Cons of Selling a House During a Divorce

  • Potential buyers who wanted to buy the martial home could use your situation as leverage.
  • High chance of getting lowball offers due to buyers recognizing the desire to sell.
  • Selling the home while the market is not doing well could result in financial loss.

Should I Sell My House During A Divorce?

Deciding to sell a home during a divorce is almost the same as selling any other time, but it is important to be clear on who gets what before the sale. If you’re not antsy to sell the home, then you should be getting a fair market value from the sale. A service from a neutral real estate agent can help you establish what that value is. They will work for the couple pointing to a common aim and at the same time be good for mediation in any issue since their objective is to get the best value for your home.

  • Legal Reasons –If both spouses want the house but want to stay out of court, they may agree then to sell the marital home where the division of proceeds is 50/50.
  • Liability Reasons – Single-person ownership carries its own set of liabilities. If your lender won’t agree to a single owner and your ex-spouse refuses to continue mortgage payments, selling it may be the best solution.
  • Financial Difficulties – If your income isn’t enough selling it may be your last resource. You may want to take advantage of a major tax break by selling the marital home before you are legally divorced.

How Can I Keep My House in a Divorce when it has a Mortgage? 

One of the most challenging aspects of a divorce might be determining how to divide the marital assets and your most valuable asset is certainly your marital home. Once you decide to separate and both your names are on the mortgage, the couple must continue making mortgage payments until you come up with a financial settlement. The risk of missing payments will take a shot on your credit score which will make it hard for you to get mortgages in the future.

Do you have enough money to maintain the marital home if you keep it?

Why bother to ask yourself “How can I keep my house in a divorce” when you know that you don’t have the ability to do so? Oftentimes, the one residing in the marital home is responsible for continually making payments at every cost to sustain the home. Some fought hard to keep the marital home in a divorce but sell it in a year or two because the maintenance is hard and expensive. One spouse will struggle to pay for the expenses on the property simply because it was originally supposed to be paid by both before the divorce.

Know your home’s worth by getting a new appraisal.

Getting a new appraisal is almost always required by a lender to let you refinance the marital home. You may consider hiring an appraiser to evaluate appropriate value. The advantage of getting a new appraisal is to get a starting value for negotiation during divorce proceedings.

What options do I have for the marital home?

  1. Sell – Selling a house during a divorce helps the divorcing couple to arrange their mortgage and split the proceeds. This might be the best course of action if there is equity in the home, meaning that the home is worth more than what is owed on the mortgage.
  2. Rent – It can be rented. By renting the property spousal can use the rental income to pay the mortgage loan. This is a good option if there is no equity in the house, but it will be different if you are facing foreclosure.
  3. Short Sale – If the marital home value is less than the amount owed by the divorcing couple the mortgage is considered an underwater mortgage. In this situation, the lender may agree to a short sale protecting your home from foreclosure. A short sale occurs when a house is sold for less than what is owed on the mortgage. A lender may forgive the remaining balance left on the mortgage or require payment through a deficiency judgment.
  4. Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure- another option is a deed in Lieu of foreclosure when the mortgage is underwater. This will allow the divorcing couple to avoid foreclosure by handing over the deed of the marital home to the lender.

Steps on selling a house during a divorce.

The selling process during a divorce is kind of similar to selling a house any other time except for the obvious difference in how property is being divided. Here are the steps in selling a house during a divorce

  1. Prepare the Home – If you’re not selling your home as-is you will need to make improvements to your home before you begin selling which means necessary repairs and upgrades will be made on any other issues you’ve been putting off.
  2. Hire a Real Estate Agent – You can hire a real estate agent because they know the market better. Your goal is to get your home sold so it doesn’t become a problem to deal with or lose money on. Hiring an agent is likely to remove the stress off your shoulders.
  3. Review the Offers – If there were offers you’ll need to decide whether you want to accept them or still negotiate. Once you’re happy with what was offered then you can begin the process of finalizing the sale.
  4. Manage the Finances – Before you can split the proceeds with your ex-spouse, you’ll need to pay the expense that is involved in selling your home like agent commission fees and lines of credit. Then, with the help of a divorce lawyer, it’s time to split the finance based on the agreement you made with your ex.

If you are left with the question “How can I keep my house in a divorce’ there is a lot to take into consideration. The marital home is partially yours no matter what however to decide on keeping it alone along with the responsibilities attached to it may be different. Factors to consider are the following.

  • Money to purchase from your spouse.
  • The expense to upkeep the marital home.
  • Keeping it and deciding to sell after divorce would cost you.
  • A marital home keeps you connected to your past best example would be the memories created there for years
  • Keeping the house may cause tension with your ex.
  • You don’t know if keeping it would be best for your kids
  • The court’s child custody determination can be an important factor in which spouse will receive the home 

Before asking “How Can I Keep My House in a Divorce” try thinking of what you can and can’t do when you get to keep it. It may sound easy to keep your home but you’re not just keeping it your sustaining it.  

Disclaimer: Any information or statement on this website and article are for general informational purposes only. Ready Set Sell My Home makes no representation or warranty, express or implied. Your use of the site is solely at your own risk. This site may contain links to third-party content, which we do not warrant, endorse, or assume liability for.

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Cody Kewley

Cody Kewley is the founder and CEO of Ready Set Sell My Home, LLC. As a Real Estate Investor Kewley has assisted hundreds of home-owners sell their home or investment property. A former Grand Canyon and Summa Cum Laude graduate with a degree in Business and Entrepreneurship.

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