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Want to Keep the House in Your Divorce?

Want to Keep the House in Your Divorce?

Posted By Meyers Law Group, P.C. || 3-Feb-2014

There are a few main ways to deal with the family home in a divorce, which include co-owning the house for a time before figuring out your permanent setup, or selling the house, splitting the profits, and relocating/downsizing. Or you could negotiate a buyout from the get-go. Whether you want to buy out your spouse's share right away, or whether you want to end your co-owning arrangement after a divorce, read on to learn about a buyout.

One of the main benefits of staying in the house is that the kids get to stay in a familiar place, and you also do not have to depend on an ailing real estate market to move on in your life. That being said, the buying spouse may be spread thin financially, perhaps paying too much for a house that will lose value, or the selling spouse might lose out on the future value of the house.

A buyout can occur at the same time that your divorce settlement is finalized, or you can sign an agreement in your divorce settlement that will gradually transfer full ownership of the house to one person only. Usually, in the divorce settlement, the buying spouse will give the selling spouse additional marital assets in order to get their share of the house. Or the buying spouse would refinance the house and get a new mortgage loan that is in their name alone.

Either way, you will not need a real estate agent, but you do need to get the house appraised. Perhaps you and your spouse generally agree on how much the house is worth, or your place was recently appraised. If you do not agree, you could always scour the internet to get an idea of what similar homes in your location are going for. This will not be precise, of course, and if you and your spouse really cannot agree, you could always hire an appraiser.

If you are the buying spouse, know that you might not have to base your purchase price on the fair market value of the house. For example, you might be able to get this amount lowered if there is repair work that has been unaddressed since before the divorce, and you could deduct this cost from your buyout. Or perhaps you are owed spousal support. The other spouse may agree to a lower buyout price in exchange for not paying support.

Whatever complex issues you face in property division or the divorce process, you can find the legal counsel you need at the Meyers Law Group, P.C. Find out how our Long Island divorce lawyer can help you get to the future you deserve when you contact us today!