Should You Keep the Home After Divorce?

One of the biggest questions in a divorce is, will either party keep the family home? If you’d like to keep the home after divorce, there are a few things you should consider prior to the divorce being finalized.

1. Financing. If the home is financed in both your name and your spouse’s name, you will likely be required to refinance the home into your name only. You should inquire with a lender prior to the divorce being finalized to see what your refinancing options are. 

Of important note, refinancing is not the same as signing a Quit Claim deed and transferring title.

2. Budget. If you are going to refinance the home into your name, you should consider your mortgage payment in your budget, along with the other expenses that come along with owning a home such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Is it affordable for you to keep the home?

3. Liens. Prior to the divorce being finalized, you should inquire as to whether there are any liens against the home. If there are, you should discuss with your attorney to be sure the liens are released and/or resolved prior to the divorce being finalized. For example, if your spouse was previously married and owes child support to his ex-spouse, any outstanding child support may be a lien on the property.

4. Selling Costs. If you are considering selling the home in the near future, consider the costs that come with selling a home. Realtor fees and closing costs can add up and are not generally considered when you’re being awarded the home in the divorce.

5. Other Options. It’s important to discuss your other property settlement options with your attorney. What are you giving up for the equity in the home? For example, if you are approaching retirement age, is it feasible for you to give up a greater portion of retirement to keep the home?

6. Children. You might consider whether your children desire to continue living in the home. Is this a neighborhood they grew up in? Is the home a constant for them during this transitional phase?

There are several things to consider if you’d like to keep the home after divorce. You should discuss these matters with your attorney.

This blog is intended only to be informative and is not a substitute for comprehensive legal advice. For legal advice regarding your divorce needs, please call our office at (319) 260-2096 or email Joslyn at joslyn@sailerlaw.com.

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