When getting a divorce, spouses are often nonchalant when approaching the division of their home and property. This is strange as these assets usually represent the largest amount of shared wealth and liability between the spouses divorcing. The value of the shared home and the amount of the existing mortgage should be carefully considered with the help of experienced divorce lawyers. This article explains how to treat the situation that results from divorce and it provides a few tips for refinancing and selling the house during a divorce.
When One Spouse Will Keep The House
When one spouse keeps the home, it is vital to remove the other spouse from the house title to eliminate that spouse's financial obligation. There are only a few cases where it makes sense to keep both spouses on the title. Ultimately, the spouses' divorce lawyers should work toward an agreement that includes a date for the removal of the other spouse's name from the title. This agreement should also set a deadline and manner for buying out the departing spouse's equity.
Advice For Selling The Home From Divorce Lawyers
Many times, the best way to handle a house where both spouses share ownership is to sell the home and divide the profits. Fortunately, this is usually just a matter of listing the house for sale and selling it. However, when one spouse fails to act, it usually leads to major problems. Many divorce lawyers recommend that one spouse take responsibility for listing, showing, and selling the home. If the spouse fails, the other spouse may have to continue contributing toward the mortgage and maintenance of the home. This causes frustration and financial stress for both spouses.
Divorce attorneys typically suggest attaching a timeline to the agreement that details the date the house must be sold. This timeline should also include a clause describing what happens if the timeline passes without being met.
When There Are Financing Problems
When one spouse gives up possession of the shared home to the other spouse with the understanding it will be refinanced, another common problem may occur. If the spouse retaining the home refinances quickly, removing the other spouse from the title, things usually proceed smoothly. However, if the retaining spouse doesn't refinance, it can keep the departing spouse from obtaining a loan to purchase a new home. This is why divorce attorneys urge divorcing couples to come up with a timeline for taking certain actions regarding the refinancing or sale of the marital home.
Recommended Steps From Divorce Lawyers
If the spouses agree that one spouse will keep ownership of the home, there are certain steps they should undertake to minimize the possibility of problems later. First, they should have a new deed drafted that stipulates the ownership and title. Second, both spouses and their divorce attorneys should work to draft an agreeable timeline by which the departing spouse's equity should be bought out by the remaining spouse. The timeline should include provisions outlining the actions required if the timeline is not met. Third, the spouse keeping the home should apply for a brand new mortgage. After the loan is approved, the remaining spouse should buy out the departing spouse's equity.
Divorce Advice From Divorce Lawyers
Since a couple's house usually represents their biggest investment, its careful division is crucial. Divorcing spouses often neglect devoting adequate attention to home ownership, transfer of title, and equity. This can result in major financial problems down the road. If you are planning to divorce, consider your options regarding your shared home and consult divorce attorneys for sound advice. Their guidance and experience will be invaluable to you in helping to avoid huge problems later.
Christine O'Kelly is a writer for Vojta Law, an experienced group of Chicago divorce lawyers. For these skilled divorce attorneys, Chicago clients depend upon them for help in negotiating separations, paternity, adoptions, spousal support, and child custody.