How Your House Is Divided During A Divorce

One of the biggest assets you likely have in your marriage is your home, which can bring up questions about how it is divided in a divorce. This is what you need to know about how a house is fairly split up.  

The Total Assets Are Split 50/50

One misconception about divorce is that all assets will be split in a 50/50 manner. While this may be true, this only applies to the total assets that are divided in a divorce.  This means that it is possible for a single asset, such as a home, to go to one spouse during a divorce. However, that may be made up for in the form of the other spouse getting more retirement income. The house doesn't always need to be sold and have the profits split, as long as the total assets are split fairly.

The House Doesn't Need To Be In Both Names

Another mistake people make is assuming that a house will not be divided because the title is in one person's name. Even if the home was put in one person's name, as long as it was purchased after the marriage happened it is considered a marital asset. This is because both people are contributing to the mortgage on the home, regardless of which name the house is under. 

If the home was purchased before the marriage, then the home will be part personal and part marital property.  What happens is that you will need to go back through previous mortgage statements and find out how much equity was in the home at the time of the marriage. For example, a home that cost $200,000 may have $150,000 left on the loan balance at the time of the marriage. This means that 25%, or $50,000, is considered personal property. 

The House Doesn't Have To Be Kept

Know that you do not have to keep the house and decide who is going to live in it.  In fact, many people want to sell their home because they are downsizing after a divorce.  This means that you can sell the home and split the profits on it between you and your spouse appropriately. This is the fairest way to deal with a house if neither person wants to keep it.  

The issues come up when one person wants to keep the house and the other wants to sell it. This is when you get into a situation where the spouse not getting the home will get more of other assets in exchange to reach that 50/50 split.  

For more information, contact a local divorce lawyer