Divorce may already feel jarring enough. To give yourself — and your children — a bit more stability, you may decide that you at least want to keep the house after your divorce is over.
But can you? If you and your spouse bought it together long before you thought they’d file for divorce, you both own that asset. What do you need to do?
Dividing what you own is part of the divorce process
First and foremost, your spouse does have a claim to the value of a home you both own. As you divide your property, you may need to consider whether or not you’re willing to give up something else in exchange. This could mean taking less in cash, handing over another valuable asset — such as a summer home — or finding another solution that works in your unique case. Most couples sell their homes and divide the earnings, so your ex is still going to want the money from that sale.
Getting a new mortgage may be necessary for your goal
Second, even if you find a way to keep the home, you will most likely need to get a new mortgage on the property so that you can remove your ex-spouse’s name from the loan. In rare cases, your ex may agree to remain on the mortgage, but these situations are the exception. Odds are that he or she will want to be removed from the paperwork and the liability to make the payments, should you fail to do so.
As you can see, keeping the house is possible, but it may be complicated. You must know about all of the legal options you have at this time.