Options for the marital home during divorce

Griffin Law, PLLC
Dec 27, 2018

When people in North Carolina make the decision to divorce, they may find it a difficult choice to leave the family home behind. This is especially true for parents who want to minimize disruption and changes for their children. However, as much as the marital home has significant sentimental value, it is also a major financial asset. Unlike bank accounts, retirement funds and similar properties, however, real estate cannot easily be separated into two pieces. This is why many divorcing couples choose to resolve the issue by putting the home on the market.

Selling the home allows the couple to use the proceeds to pay off the balance of the mortgage and divide any remaining funds as part of the divorce settlement. However, when one person wants to remain in the family home, either long-term or for a limited period to benefit the children, there are some important decisions to consider. In most cases, the remaining spouse will need to buy out the equity stake of the other partner in the property.

In addition, the mortgage will often need to be refinanced into the name of the remaining spouse alone. This can be a challenge as he or she will need to show ability to afford the home on one salary and creditworthiness. Once the mortgage refinance is handled, the deed should also be changed to reflect that only the remaining spouse owns the property. Failing to do these two things could leave the other spouse attached to the home for years to come.

People headed for divorce have a number of financial issues to address along with the end of the marriage. A family law attorney may be able to help a divorcing spouse to negotiate a fair settlement on a range of matters, including spousal support and property division.

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