By: Attorney Megan Drury and Paralegal Ali Jaeger
Anyone going through a divorce will need to address multiple issues related to their finances and the property they own. When dividing marital property, a couple will need to consider all of the assets and debts they acquired during their marriage. One of the most important of these assets is the couple’s marital home. Real estate can be a significant investment, and each spouse will want to make sure they receive an equitable share of their home’s equity. The home will likely have sentimental value for both parties as well, and resolving disputes about ownership of the home can sometimes be difficult.
Property Division Options Related to the Marital Home
In many cases, it will be necessary to perform an appraisal of a couple’s home during the divorce process. This will establish the current market value of the home, and a couple can determine the value of the equity they own based on the mortgage payments that have been made during their marriage and the amount remaining on the loan. This may also provide them with an understanding of the purchase price they will most likely be able to receive if they choose to sell the home.
In many cases, the best option for divorcing couples is to sell their home. Doing so will eliminate any disputes over who should be able to maintain ownership of the home and continue living there. Depending on the purchase price and the amount remaining on the mortgage, the couple may be able to earn a profit, and this amount may be divided between them, ensuring that both parties will have the resources needed to find new living arrangements.
If one or both spouses do not want to sell the home, they may decide that one party will assume sole ownership. This may be the preferred option if a spouse has an emotional attachment to the home or if a parent wants to continue raising their children in the home they have become used to. Sole ownership may be a possibility if one spouse will have the financial means to make ongoing mortgage payments and pay other expenses on their own using the income they earn, the assets allocated to them in the divorce, and spousal support or child support payments.
If one spouse will own or maintain possession of the family home, the other spouse will need to be removed from the title and mortgage. Failure to do so could lead to consequences in the future, such as an inability to purchase a new home because a person is still considered to be the co-owner of their marital home. In some cases, spouses may agree to co-own the home after getting divorced, although this is generally not recommended since it will require ex-spouses to remain financially tied to each other and affect their ability to establish independent living arrangements.
Contact Our Milwaukee, WI Property Division Lawyers
If you are considering divorce or have already begun the process of ending your marriage, you will want to make sure all issues related to your property and finances will be handled correctly. The lawyers of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can provide you with guidance on how to address ownership of your family home, and we can work with you to resolve any disputes you may encounter. To learn how we can help you complete your divorce successfully, contact our Milwaukee asset division attorneys at 414-271-1440 and set up a free consultation.