The marital home is often a prized asset for the couple. Thus, this asset is likely to receive extra attention during divorce proceedings. Where the marital home goes after divorce will depend on state laws, the parties' actions and the circumstances surrounding the house.
Aspects to consider
The actual date when the home was bought is a key factor in what happens to the marital home. If one of the spouses owned the home prior to their union, it may be regarded as separate property that's exempted from division. Therefore, the original owner will retain the whole house and its related value. However, if the property was bought during the marriage, the courts consider it a marital asset save for a specific pact to the contrary. This means that in equitable distribution states, the property will be split rightly between the couple.
In some instances, the couple may choose to reach an amicable decision regarding how to handle the home without having to engage in a court battle. Based on advice from their respective family lawyers, here are some of the options that couples may consider.
Sell the house
The couple may agree to sell the house. This alternative makes sense when neither party is able to afford maintaining the marital home given that they now have separate households to look after. The couple may choose to divide the proceeds of the sale proportionately. Another option is to divide the sale profits by the equivalent share that each party contributed. For instance, if one spouse contributed 60 percent of the mortgage fees and the other spouse put in 40 percent of the fees, the couple may agree to a 60/40 split.
Buy out the home
One spouse may choose to buy out the other spouse's share of the home in order to retain full ownership of the property. A legal contract to this effect will demand that the other spouse be removed from the mortgage, deed, or any other legal link to the home.
With children involved, the couple may agree that the spouse who has primary custody of the kids continue to reside in the marital house until the kids reach a specific age. Afterwards, the marital home will be sold and the sale proceeds split between the couple.
In conclusion, divorcing spouses should consult their respective family attorneys for advice on how to handle the marital home after divorce. For more information, contact a business such as Marino Law.