Divorce generally requires the division of marital assets. In many cases, the most valuable asset that a couple owns is their house. As spouses generally own their marital house jointly, they both have a right to a share of its value. This is likely true even if both of their names are not on the title and the mortgage.
Some couples sell their homes when they get divorced. But what if you want to keep your house? Are you going to be obligated to sell it against your wishes, or are there other tactics you can use to keep it?
You could be the buyer
One potential option is to refinance your mortgage and buy out your spouse’s share of the home’s value. If they were just interested in getting their money out of the home, so that they could use that money as they move forward with their life, they can still get it and you get to keep the asset that you value most. Refinancing the mortgage will transfer it into your own name alone.
Unfortunately, the biggest issue with this approach is often expense. Maintenance, upkeep, insurance and all other costs are going to take a bigger portion of a budget if someone just has one income. Additionally, they may find it hard to actually refinance their mortgage and get approved while heading up a single-income household.
You could keep it together
There are also some rather nontraditional situations in which couples choose to keep their home together. One example is birdnesting, where they want their children to keep living in the home, even as the parents move in and out while sharing parenting time.
Another example could be if a couple wants to sell their home at a later date. They may think that the value is only going to climb over the next few years. Some couples will rent their home out until it’s time to sell and then make that sale when it is financially advantageous, even if that is long after the divorce.
You do have many options for how to manage your home during divorce, but the process of actually managing this issue can be undeniably complicated. Be sure you understand your rights and options by seeking legal guidance as soon as possible.