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Divorce and the Marital Residence

For many people going through a divorce their biggest asset is their home. Likewise it is usually their biggest debt.

selling a home in a divorce

There are a few different options when it comes to splitting the marital residence.

One option is one spouse keeps the house and buys out the other spouse's share. In this case the divorce agreement will state by what date the spouse keeping the house will have refinanced the home, removed the other spouse from the mortgage and paid the other spouse their share of the equity.

A second option is one spouse is granted exclusive use for a specified period of time, usually until the youngest child turns 18, after which the house will be sold with the profits being allocated to each spouse. This type of agreement should clearly state how the equity is to be determined and divided when the home is eventually sold. It should take into consideration how the costs of house payments, taxes, repairs and maintenance of the home are to be allocated between the couple.

If the agreement is to sell the home with the equity divided between the divorcing spouses, things should be relatively easy. Sometimes one spouse may remain in the home and be responsible for listing, showing and selling the home with the other spouse being responsible for part of the mortgage payment, taxes, and upkeep to the house.

If this is the case it should be clearly stated in the divorce agreement exactly what is expected of the spouse responsible for selling the house as well as what will happen if the house cannot be sold within a specific time.

Getting professional help is a good idea. A real estate agent can be the voice of reason during this emotional time. A good realtor will help you set a fair price.

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