What to consider when keeping the family home after a divorce

Determining whether or not to keep the family home can be one of the biggest decisions a former New Jersey couple may have to make during a divorce. While many former spouses want to keep the family home, especially if there are children involved, there are a few factors that the former couple should consider before making a final decision.

When former spouses agree that one person should keep the home, the other person usually signs a quit claim deed. This releases that person’s interest in the home, meaning that, if the home is sold in the future, that person is not entitled to any of the proceeds from the sale. However, signing a quit claim deed does not release the person’s liability, meaning he or she could be held responsible if the other former spouse fails to make the mortgage payments.

One way to avoid the situation above is to have the former spouse who is keeping the home refinance so that the other person is no longer on the loan. Further, the buyout should be treated as a transaction with a stranger, meaning the same steps should be taken as if the home was just being purchased. This means completing a new appraisal, completing a pest control inspection, purchasing a one-year home warranty policy and have a second title search completed.

Going through a divorce can be difficult for everyone involved, especially when it comes to property division. A family law attorney may assist those who have obtained significant marital assets throughout their marriage divide up those assets fairly. This is particularly true if the divorce involves complex property issues, such as if the divorce involves hidden assets, international property holdings and division of stock options. The attorney may work to negotiate a division that is equitable and that also protects a person’s interests.