Who will keep the house on our divorce? 19 Answers as of May 04, 2015

My wife and I have just started the divorce process. We bought a house together 10 years ago and it is about 90% paid off. Even if she gets to keep the house I still do not think she would be able to pay the mortgage. Does this mean that I will most likely get the house?

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John W. Lee, P.C.
John W. Lee, P.C. | John W. Lee
In Virginia the court considers several things when dividing marital property. A Judge is not required to divide assets evenly between the husband and wife, but in many cases does. If the house is 90% paid off, then presumably there is substantial equity in the house. The court could order the house sold and equity divided; the court could allow one party to keep the house and pay to the other party his or her share of the equity; the court award the entire house to one party and give another asset of similar value to the other party; or the court could award the entire house to one party and give the other party nothing based on some type of marital fault. One likely scenario is that you get the house and are required to refinance to pull cash out to give to her. There are numerous ways this situation could be resolved, you should consult with an experienced divorce attorney soon.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 5/4/2015
Attorney at Law | Aimee C. Robbins
Either the home will be sold and the proceeds divided or you can retain the home, refinance and buy her off.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/4/2015
Law Office of Barton R. Resnicoff | Barton R. Resnicoff
Are there any children of the marriage; are there any other assets? If no children, any asset acquired during the marriage will be either liquidated(i.e,, sold and the proceeds divided); if there are children, that may prevent the house from being sold until all the children are finished with high school. Liquidated may permit one party to buy out the other or trade one asset or assets for another or others. To really understand how the facts apply to the issues, you should meet with an attorney who can review the facts and be able to advise you about what might happen and explain why.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/4/2015
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
Not necessarily. If one party wishes to buy out the other party's equity interest in the house they may have to take on a larger mortgage to do so and neither party might be able to do this. Therefore, it might be that both parties might have to place the house on the market and divide up the net proceeds of the sale.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/4/2015
James M. Chandler | James M. Chandler
You are each entitled to 50% of the equity in the house. If one party cannot buy out the other the house should be sold to divide the money.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/4/2015
    Law Office of Eric S. Lumberg | Eric S. Lumberg
    There are several options for dealing with the house. If the parties can not decide, the Judge may order that it be sold and the proceeds split. Consult with an attorney to discuss your options and what resolutions are best for you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    No. You don't say how long you were married or what other assets and liabilities there are. The length of the marriage has a bearing on the division of assets and on maintenance.The court will have to look at the whole picture and then determine a division. For example, she might get the house, you may have to pay some maintenance or directly for part of the mortgage and you might get the retirement plan. There are many variables.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    If the house is 90% paid off she could remortgage it and lower the monthly payments.. Please contact an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    First things first. You need to retain an experienced divorce lawyer to advise and represent you. It's more than worth the investment. I can speak with confidence on this: I have represented many people who did DIY divorces and then needed to try to remedy the consequences later. The question of who gets the house can be decided by agreement between the two of you which is almost always best. If the wife cannot pay the mortgage, then (a) she might get the house and you would have to pay her maintenance to be sure the payments are made; or (b) you get the house and the remaining mortgage, but you may have to pay her the one-half of the equity to which she is presumptively entitled. Good Luck and get a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    You will most likely be ordered to pay for it but she may still get it if there are children
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Office of Martin A. Kahan | Martin A. Kahan
    The court will attempt to equalize the assets and liabilities, including the family residence. Your question can only be answered after you consult with a family law attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    From your description ,it sounds like there's a significant amount of equity in the home. The typical approach the court would take would be for the parties to do a buyout with each other on the residence or, if it's not financially possible to do that, have the property listed for sale and have the parties divide the proceeds. Please meet with an experienced family law attorney to explore your legal options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida | Dennis J. Leffert, J.D.
    The problem you raise is that both of you are still on the loan. If you can be taken off the loan, by the lender, then the house can transfer to her and it would not matter to you if she cannot pay the loan. If, however, the lender will not transfer the loan to her only, you might want to consider selling the home and splitting the net proceeds from the sale.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    John Russo | John Russo
    NO, if its 90% paid off then you have to divide the equity. You buy her 50% out, or she buys your 50% out, or if you can't agree house goes on market for sale and you split equity.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    GordenLaw, LLC
    GordenLaw, LLC | Vanessa J. Gorden
    Whichever one of you keeps the house will need to buy the other person's interest out. The law in Nebraska says each receives 50/50 of the marital estate (assets that were purchased during the marriage, minus liabilities incurred). If she would not have the ability to pay the mortgage or borrow more to pay you, and you would be able to do those things to pay her, then, yes, it makes more sense for the house to be awarded to you in the divorce. You should really consult with an experienced divorce lawyer who can confidentially go through all of your specific facts with you and advise you on your rights and obligations. Best wishes!
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    That can't be determined from the limited information you provided.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Simpson Law Office, PLLC | Alexander J. Simpson, III
    It depends. The equity in the home will likely be divided between you. This means one of you can buy out the other's interest or you can sell the home, pay off the mortgage, and divide the remainder between you.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Offices of Julie A. Ringquist | Julie A. Ringquist
    If she can refinance the house in her own name, to pay you off for your one-half of the equity, she can be awarded the house, and you can have your half of the equity (current value minus debts on the property). If she cannot afford a refinance, which will also provide the funds necessary to pay you, then you will be given the same opportunity to refinance and pay her one-half of the equity. If neither of you can qualify for the refinance to pay the other one off, then the house will be sold, and the equity will be divided. It will be equally divided assuming that the entire property is community property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    There are a variety of ways to do it. One of you could keep the house and buy the other out of their portion. For instance if the house is worth 100k and you keep it then you would give her $50k. Or you two could continue to own it together. Or you could sell it and split the profits.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/1/2015
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