What Happens to the House in a Divorce?
Your home is one of your most important assets and likely the most significant. When you get married, you may dream of buying your home together. Your house holds many memories for you and your family. Your children may not know any other place to live beside your marital home. But what happens when you and your spouse divorce? Which one of you will be able to keep the house?
Certainly, there are many issues that you and your spouse need to resolve during the divorce process and distributing assets, including how to handle the home. A knowledgeable divorce attorney will help guide the process to ensure that you reach an equal settlement.
What is Marital Property?
Marital property is property that you and your spouse acquired after you got married. Generally, North Carolina divides a couple’s assets and property equally in a divorce. Marital property includes all real and personal property that you acquired during the marriage and up until you separated. Some property is excluded as separate property when it was an inheritance, a gift, or was owned by the party before marriage. Marital property is to be divided in a 50/50 manner when a couple divorces. This may include the marital home.
Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Do I have to be living separately to meet with a lawyer about divorce?”
Should We Sell or Keep the Home?
Every situation is different, and every couple needs to decide what is best for them. Typically, you have several options when it comes to the marital home. You can sell the home outright and split any profits, one person can buy the other out to own the home alone, or the couple may keep the home and sell it at a later date. The decision you make depends on many factors. You will want to gather information, including the current market value of your home, your equity in the home, and the amount you owe on your mortgage.
Sometimes, a couple will decide to keep the home so one parent can raise the children there until they are adults. In some cases, one person may want to purchase the other’s portion of the home and own it themselves. You may be able to utilize money from other assets, or you may need to take out a loan. Whatever you decide, you will need to make it part of your settlement agreement. The judge will need to review your request before making it part of the divorce order.
Sometimes, dividing property such as the house can be complicated. For example, when one person owned the home before they got married, they may feel that the home is theirs alone. However, the spouse may have contributed to the mortgage payments, and the home, or a portion, might be considered marital property.
An experienced divorce attorney understands how to resolve even the most complicated property disputes and will help ensure that you get your fair settlement. If you are ending your marriage, you will benefit from the guidance of a compassionate attorney who is on your side. Contact our divorce lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for a consultation today.
The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes four Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.
Home Equity: What It Is, How It Works, and How You Can Use It (investopedia.com)
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