Buying a house is a major milestone. Many people see it as achieving a goal when they purchase a place to create their dream home.
That is why, if you face a divorce, you may not want to let that dream go. There are a few steps you should take as you approach a divorce if keeping your home is one of your main goals.
4 steps to take if you wish to keep your home
There are many factors to consider when it comes to dividing property in a divorce, especially if you wish to keep your family home. Regarding this asset, you should:
- Calculate your finances: As we have discussed in previous blog posts, the first step you should take is to calculate whether it is a realistic decision to keep the house. Going from two incomes to one can impact your financial health, even if it is just temporary. You may have to reevaluate your budget to keep the house. It is also necessary to consider how the current state of the economy can affect the real estate market and mortgage rates.
- Understand the law: Consider North Carolina’s marital property rules to determine the ownership and classification of the house. Often, even if you purchased the house before the marriage on your own, there is a high chance that it is marital property if you and your spouse combined finances to update or renovate the house.
- Negotiate: You must speak with your ex-spouse about what you wish to do with the house moving forward. If your spouse has no interest in keeping the house, then you may not face too many challenges while negotiating property division. However, if they also wish to keep the house, negotiations may require help from a third party, whether that is a mediator, attorney or even the family court in some cases to reach a solution.
- Determine your strategy: Even if you and your spouse agree that you will keep the house, you must still “divide” this asset. This generally boils down to dividing the home equity or value rather than the house itself. There are a few ways to manage this division, from a buy-out to continuing to co-own the house. You must consider your circumstances and needs to choose the strategy that works best for you.
Deciding to keep the home is almost as big a decision as buying it in the first place. Therefore, you must carefully evaluate the options available to you.