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What Options Do I have Regarding My Marital Home during Divorce?

By Donna Ranieri

There are many questions you might be asking at this time, particularly regarding your marital home.

If I want to stay in my home, what do I need to keep in mind?

First, take into consideration the size of the home, monthly utility payments, taxes and your family needs. Does staying in the home truly make sense? You may now be entirely responsible for the house payment, taxes, insurance, maintenance and other expenses. Make sure you can handle it before you start the negotiating process.

How do we determine how much equity we have in our home?

The equity in the home needs to be determined by an appraiser. You should also get an inspection of your property. You do not want to have issues with the property and have to make repairs after you divide the equity with your spouse.

If you choose to stay in the home, you can refinance your home to get cash out. With your own good credit and income, you can usually qualify on your own. Child support and alimony is viewed as stable income if it has been received for at least 3-6 months and is likely to continue for at least three years.

What If I am the one leaving the home?

It is important to know that even though the divorce decree awarded the home to your spouse, you are still obligated for this debt in the eyes of the mortgage company.

Do not assume that by filing a Quit Claim Deed removing yourself from the title, that you are no longer responsible for the mortgage. A Quit Claim Deed only eliminates your name from the title of the property, not from the mortgage loan.

How might this impact my credit?

Because you are obligated on the mortgage until it is paid in full or refinanced, it is imperative that the person responsible for the payment remains current. That is why it is extremely important to have your name removed from the mortgage as quickly as possible.

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