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What to do with the family home after a divorce settlement

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2019 | Divorce |

As a couple in Virginia goes through the divorce process, one of the more challenging issues they face could be what to do with the family home. This is because the family home is likely one of the largest assets the couple has. Some form of compromise will need to be reached. In a lot of cases, one spouse gets control of the home during the settlement agreement.

Just because a person is awarded the home does not necessarily mean that they are in the best position. They have a lot of difficult decisions to make. For example, will they allow their now ex-spouse and children to live in the home? Another consideration is how the mortgage will be paid.

There are a couple of options to choose from. One is that they’re going to keep the original joint mortgage, which requires a high level of trust between the two divorced individuals. Both of them are responsible for paying the mortgage. However, if one of them chooses not to pay the mortgage at any time, serious damage may be done to the credit of both individuals.

Another option is to refinance the joint mortgage. If one spouse is awarded the home, it may be in their best interest to refinance the home in their name only.

The third option, which is usually full of a lot of misconceptions, is assuming the original mortgage. If the mortgage allows for a loan assumption, one individual will take full responsibility for the loan. Lending policies regarding loans made after 2008 and the need for documentation of income and other relevant information can make doing this challenging.

A family law attorney may be able to help their client if they are trying to decide what to do about the family home. While the decision lies with the client, the attorney may be able to provide information on laws pertaining to joint property, determining the value of assets, handling joint debt and other financial questions that may arise during the divorce process.