Divorce is expensive, which can make it difficult to keep up with home payments. Regardless of who wants to keep the home, if you can’t afford to make the payments, both of you will have to do something. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to keep your home during the divorce process, here’s what you need to know about your options:
If one spouse wants to keep the house:
If one of you really wants to keep the house, for emotional reasons or otherwise, essentially they’ll have to buy the ex out. Many people going through a divorce just assume that you can change the name in the title, and be done, but unfortunately, you still have to deal with the mortgage. If the mortgage is in both of your names, the spouse looking to keep the home will have to refinance, pay those fees, and receive a favorable loan from the bank, before the home is officially theirs.
This is a lot of work, money, and struggle, and it’s also contingent upon the fact that the spouse who wants to keep the home has the money to afford it. In most cases, you have to be able to comfortably afford the new, refinanced mortgage payments on your own personal income alone — if you plan on using child support or alimony, the banks will be much less favorable, and may not consider the refinancing.
Keeping the home for the kids:
If you and your ex have children together, it may make sense to keep the home in order to offer the kids a bit of stability in a difficult time. They can keep their rooms, their friends, and go to the same school, which may offer a bit of support for them while they figure out their lives with the new divorce arrangement. If you and your spouse agree that the kids should remain in the home, you can either plan to continue co-owning the home, or you can do a deferred sale.
If you choose to co-own:
- This may be the least messy way to deal with a home after a divorce, at least initially, but remember that both spouses names are on the mortgage, and both spouse’s credits will be affected by any missed payments.
- This is often looked on unfavorably by the spouse who has to live elsewhere because they may be paying on a home they’re not living in, or they’re responsible and their credit is affected when their spouse misses a payment.
- If you choose to co-own, make sure both party’s lawyers outline clearly the expectations and consequences of failing to pay for repairs or mortgages. This is the best way to make sure the house is well cared for, no one falls into debt, and the children remain in their childhood home.
If you choose to make a deferred sale:
- A deferred sale is where the parent with primary custody is able to live in the home, with the children, until they turn 18. At that point, the home will be sold and any equity divided according to the divorce contract.
- Again, this can be tricky depending on whether the custodial spouse is able to take over the mortgage or not.
- Attorneys will again have to clearly delineate each party’s responsibility, such as who makes mortgage payments, and who will get what percentage of the equity once the home is finally sold.
If you’d like to sell:
In many cases, selling the home is the best option during a divorce. This way, your assets are liquidated, and each party is able to come away from the divorce with a relatively equal division of those assets. It also can make for a much cleaner separation, as no one has to deal with what previously was your home as a couple, and emotional attachments can be a bit further removed. What’s more, selling the home can ensure both parties are able to walk away from the divorce without an insurmountable pile of debt. Divorce can be expensive, with attorney fees and new living costs for one party, and liquidating your largest asset can help eliminate some of the financial worry. If you’re considering selling your home during your divorce:
- Know that you have plenty of options. While many people opt for an agent or realtor, that third party can often bring up a bit of contention, and it can take more time then to close when all you want is to move on from that home.
- Understand that a short sale or cash offer can offer massive financial help. If you need to sell the home to pay for more pressing financial concerns, you can sell your home as-is, and get a cash offer. This will make it very easy to split the equity, and it ensures you’re both liquid as soon as possible, helping you to pay rising attorney fees, and alleviating some of the stress of finding somewhere new to live.
- Divorce is already very stressful, so if you sell the home as-is, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up for showings, getting the kids stuff out asap, or fixing any issues you’ve been meaning to get to, but just haven’t had the time. You just have to put the home up for sale, talk with investors, and agree on the cash offer that’s right for you.
Divorce is never easy, and usually, most arguments come down to who will have possession of the family home—typically any couple’s largest asset. By selling the home, you liquidate that asset and can ensure that both parties are compensated fairly, rather than having one party pay a great deal out of pocket to take over the mortgage, or the other party feels like they walked away with the raw end of the deal.
If you’re worried about paying for a home during your divorce, give Renewed Homes a call. We purchase homes as-is, and in cash, so you can move on with your life, and focus on what’s important. Visit us online for your free cash offer, or give us a call at 269-362-0931 to let us know what’s going on. We’re here to help you move on with your home, and on with your life.