Getting a divorce? What will happen to your house?

When ending one’s marriage, there are a lot of things to think about. One issue often seen in divorce cases in Washington has to do with the marital home. Will one party keep it, will both parties continue to live there for the time being or will it be sold?

If one spouse wishes to keep the marital home, he or she will want to refinance the mortgage into his or her name only. This removes the other party from the mortgage and ends his or her financial responsibility for the property. As the home is often the most significant asset held by a married couple, in order to properly divide community assets, the party not keeping the house may be bought out or given a greater share of other available assets.

If both parties decide to keep the house, either to live in or until they are in a better position to sell, they can make a plan for what they wish to do with the property in the future. Usually, this type of situation is only temporary. Eventually, most couples end up selling the property or one party ends up keeping the home.

Finally, if a divorcing couple chooses to sell their residence, they can split any profit, if there is any, or they can take an equal share of the debt if they sell for less than their mortgage amount. Timing is everything when selling a home. It can be done during divorce proceedings or after the fact if waiting for the market to turn around would prove beneficial.

Figuring out what to do with the marital home when getting a divorce can be somewhat difficult. Legal counsel can review one’s options and help one decide the best course of action. At the end of the day, the goal is to allow those in Washington who are divorcing the ability to walk away from their marriages with their correct share of any community property. Through careful planning and negotiations this is possible.

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