Michael G. Putter Attorney at Law
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Dealing with the family home in divorce, P.1

In recent posts, we’ve looked a bit at some of the factors judges consider when dividing marital property in divorce. One of the most important assets couples have to their name at the time of divorce is their home, and determining how to divide family home can be difficult.

As we’ve seen, one of the factors judges consider when dividing marital property pertains directly to the family home: that is, the custody arrangement and the desirability of the custodial parent remaining in family home. This issue generally only comes up, though, when spouses cannot agree on what to do with the family home. 

In some cases, both parties want to sell the home, split the equity and go their own ways. For other couples, one or both parties will want to remain in the family home. When only one party wants to keep the home, certain steps should be taken to work out financial matters. In terms of financial means, a spouse who wants to remain in the family home may either buy out the other spouse or seek to refinance the mortgage and cash out their share of equity in the home to pay off the other spouse.

Financial separation is important as well, and this means obtaining a mortgage only in the name of the spouse taking sole possession of the home. Financial separation is particularly important for the non-taking spouse so that he or she doesn’t end up becoming responsible for payments if the taking spouse defaults on the mortgage.

In our next post, we’ll continue this discussion. 

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