Gabrielle S. Davis, P.C.

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Property Division or Who gets the house?

Wedding Cake.pngProperty Division is first and foremost on your mind when thinking about divorce. One of the first questions you may ask yourself who gets the house or does it have to be sold?

The decision on who gets the house or whether it should be sold should not be based on emotions alone. Divorcing couples have to consider how Property Division will effect them financially.

Here is what you need to consider:

1. Is there any equity in the home? In other words does its market value exceed the mortgage balance? The best way to make that determination is to obtain an appraisal of the property or a market analysis from a realtor.

If there would be some money left over maybe you need that cash settlement now. You can insist on the house or condo being sold now or that your spouse refinances to give you your equity. On the other hand, maybe the Property is worth holding onto in case it appreciates in value.

If you want to stay, can you afford to buy your spouse out by refinancing? You will need to get your spouse off the mortgage. You will be buying him or her out which will increase your mortgage payment. Can you afford that now or is your spouse willing to wait a few years to be paid for his or her portion of the equity in the home?

Look at Dividing other Marital Property. Can other Marital Property such as a retirement account be offered instead to offset the value of the home?

2. Can you realistically afford to stay on in the Marital Home?

Look at your budget. Can you afford to pay that mortgage, property taxes and repairs to the Home on your own even if you are receiving Child support or Spousal Support.

You may want to keep the children in the same school district, ask yourself, over 5 to 10 years, would it be cheaper to rent in the long run?

3. Would it be smarter to sell the Marital Home now to pay down debt? Do you have a lot of credit card debt? Don't you want a fresh start after your Divorce? You do not want to continue to have credit cards in both names.

These are all questions that you need to ask yourself when Dividing Property in a Divorce.

Remember to try to use your head not your heart!

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