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Will I Be Required to Sell My Home During My Divorce?

 Posted on May 16, 2023 in Property Division

shutterstock_228226975-min.jpgGetting a divorce is rarely an easy or simple process. If you have chosen to separate from your spouse, you will need to address multiple types of financial issues while also making sure to follow the correct legal procedures to terminate your marriage. Many of these financial concerns will be related to the property you own, and in your divorce settlement, you will need to determine how your community property will be divided between you and your spouse. As you address these issues, some of the most significant concerns will be related to your family home. Determining whether you will be able to continue owning your home or whether it may be necessary to sell the home during your divorce is not always easy, but with the help of a skilled divorce attorney, you can decide on the best route to take that will protect your financial interests in the years to come.

Is the Home Community Property or Separate Property?

The first issue related to your home that you will need to address is to understand whether it is community property owned together with your spouse or separate property owned solely by one party. Community property consists of all assets that were acquired during your marriage. If you and your spouse bought your home together at any time after you became legally married, it will be community property. Regardless of how the purchase was made, whose name is on the title, and who contributed to mortgage payments, a home that is community property will be considered to be jointly owned by you and your spouse.

On the other hand, if you owned a home before you got married, it will usually be considered separate property rather than community property. You will most likely be able to retain sole ownership of your home after your divorce. However, you may need to address increases in the value of your equity in the home during your marriage. If marital funds were used to make mortgage payments, or if your spouse contributed to an increase in the value of the home by performing repairs or improvements, you may be required to repay them for these contributions.

Addressing Home Ownership During Divorce

As you proceed with the divorce process, you and your spouse will need to make decisions about how ownership of your home will be handled. When a home is community property, it will need to be divided along with other assets. If you wish to be the sole owner of the home, you can negotiate agreements that will provide your spouse with other assets that are equivalent in value to the equity you own in the home. You can then refinance the mortgage in your own name and ensure that your spouse's name is removed from the title of the home.

If you plan to continue owning your home, it is important to make sure you will have the financial resources necessary to cover the expenses of home ownership. You will need to be able to make monthly mortgage payments and address other ongoing costs, including utilities and property taxes. You should also be aware of other potential expenses in the years to come, such as the costs of performing repairs or replacing appliances. By taking the time to create a workable budget that accounts for your income and expenses, you can make sure that continued home ownership will be financially feasible.

If you do not have the financial resources that will allow you to maintain ownership of your home, or if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement that will allow for sole ownership of the home, it may be necessary to sell your home during the divorce process. By working with a real estate agent, you can determine what steps you can take to fetch the best price for your home. The profits you earn from the sale can be divided between you and your spouse, and this can help ensure that both of you will be able to move forward and meet your needs as you move into new residences.

Contact Our Waukesha County Asset Division Attorneys

At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, our experienced New Berlin property division lawyers can make sure you understand your rights regarding your home and other marital assets. We will advise you of the options that are available for dividing your property with your spouse, and we will work with you to negotiate agreements that will protect your interests and meet your needs. Contact us at 262-232-6699 to set up a complimentary consultation.


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