Will I Lose the House During a Divorce?
Updated: Jul 31, 2018
By: Brusca Law
The biggest question we see in a divorce, is whether the party or the family can keep the house during and after the divorce. The parties themselves can decide what happens to the house, but they must be careful to make sure the division of all of the marital assets and debts support this decision. While some parties become very attached to the marital home, others may view the marital home as a financial decision only.
There are three basic scenarios for you when determining whether to sell the house or not:
Scenario 1 – Sell the Home.
here are many factors you should consider when deciding to sell the marital home. Is the house worth what you thought it was? Will the house sell easily with little to no repairs needed? And what happens if there is no equity in the home—will this be a debt you can afford to take at this moment in time? Speak with your attorney before deciding to sell.
Scenario 2 – Refinance Home and Buy Out The Other Party.
If one party wants to remain in the marital home, he or she will need to refinance the marital home to remove the other party’s name from the note and mortgage. When selecting this scenario, the party keeping the home must pay the other spouse half of the equity in the marital home. Problems arise when your credit is shot and you are unable to qualify to refinance the home, and the other party wants their equity now. Folks oftentimes just look at the value of the house and the debt associated to the house only when making their decision regarding the home. Do not do this! Your attorney should be able to prepare an equitable distribution spreadsheet which divides not only the house but ALL other assets and debts, which may make this scenario an option for you.
Scenario 3 – Live in House for Now, Sell Later, and Pay Equitable Distribution Later. Typically, this scenario happens so that credit scores can rise, and children can graduate from high school. It might take a party several years for their credit scores to recover from a divorce, and this scenario is risky. The parties may decide to value the house, whether it is underwater or not, as of the date of the marital settlement agreement. The spouse that remains in the house would then get a credit for the payments they made towards the mortgage and expenses on the property, and will equally divide the value of the home, negative or positive, as of a certain date. The risk in this option is clear, as much can happen until such time as you receive your equitable portion of the value of the home. Speak with an attorney about this option and make sure you weigh the risks before selecting this scenario.
Contact Brusca Law Today
If you would like to learn more about your options concerning the marital home during a divorce, contact Brusca Law at 407-501-6564 and schedule a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney in Orlando. Navigate your options with an experienced attorney and learn more about what you can do with your most valuable asset during a divorce.