Divorce and the Marital Home
Divorce is full of difficult decisions. One issue that our clients regularly face is what to do with their shared marital home. In some cases, one party wants to hold on to the residence, either by buying out the other spouse or by replacing an existing mortgage with a new mortgage that only lists one spouse. In other cases, both parties agree that selling the home is the best decision. There are advantages and disadvantages to keeping or selling the home, and long-term implications that come with either choice, so it is important that those going through a divorce seek the help of an experienced divorce attorney who can advise them on this matter.
There is a lot to consider when deciding what to do with your shared marital home during a divorce. If one spouse wants to keep the house, will they be able to buy out their spouse? Or refinance their mortgage? In some unfortunate cases, banks will not approve a refinance if the party who is hoping to hold on to the home is not working or does not have strong enough credit. If not, keeping the home may be unfeasible. Additionally, if a spouse chooses to hold on to the home, can they afford it? Even a completely paid off home has costs to heat, cool, and maintain, and depending on your circumstances, these costs may be too much to handle as a single person.
There are issues that can arise with choosing to sell the home as well. What happens if the home is placed on the market but will not sell? If both parties cannot agree on another course of action, the court could take over the sale of the home or order that the home go up for auction. This means divorcing homeowners who are unable to sell could lose significant money.
Many divorcing couples have also come up with other arrangements that best suit their needs. For example, some couples choose to keep the marital home jointly while only one spouse lives in the home. This comes up most often in situations where children are involved. In other cases, however, some couples have divorced but remain living in their shared home to avoid extra expenses. These types of arrangements will not work for every couple, but it is important to note that other arrangements can be agreed upon. If an alternative arrangement is made, all of the details should be spelled out ahead of time and agreed upon by both parties.
Seek Additional Help
Whether or not to hold on to your shared marital home after divorce is a difficult decision and one that requires help from specialists. A skilled divorce attorney will have experience in this matter, and can help review your circumstances and advise you on the most practical option. Additionally, it can be helpful to meet with an accountant and a real estate specialists to review any potential ramifications of either keeping or selling the home.
At Abear Law Offices, we understand that divorce can be full of difficult decisions, and our team of qualified DuPage county divorce attorneys is here to help. We have years of combined experience assisting clients through every step of the divorce process, and we are available to assist you today. Call 630-904-3033 to set up a free consultation.