For couples sharing a home, especially those with children, deciding what to do with the house can be one of the most stressful and difficult parts of the divorce. Not only are you legally dissolving the marriage, but your home reminds you that you are dividing a household. When facing divorce, it is always best to maintain perspective and consider how to best protect your rights. Depending on whether you rent, own, or have multiple properties, it is important to consider the impact a divorce will have on your real property investments.
During divorce, both parties stand to lose their investments and personal security when deciding what to do with the family home. Our Birmingham divorce attorneys are experienced with all aspects of the divorce process and want to help you protect your rights. When working through the intricacies of a divorce, you want to have a clear understanding of your obligations and how any divorce settlement or decision will impact your long-term financial security.
Alabama is an equitable distribution state, meaning that both spouses will receive a portion of the marital home unless otherwise stated in court documents. The results of any divorce will be impacted if there is a prenuptial agreement. When deciding whether to sell or keep your family home or when to sell property, keep in mind that the valuation date (when the house worth is estimated by an appraiser) is going to be recorded in official divorce documents.
If you move out or your spouse moves out of the family home during the divorce process, the regular expenses of the house will be divided between both parties. If the property value increases after one spouse moves out, the remaining spouse will profit from the increase in value after the sale is finalized. As with any decision during the divorce process, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and to consider all of rights, obligations, and options.
When deciding whether to keep or sell your home, consider the following:
Does anyone want the house? If you have children, one or both of you may want the home. You should also consider if either or both parties could independently afford the mortgage payments. If you want to stay in the home yourself, consider the expense of buying out your spouse and future responsibilities. If no one wants the house, you can sell the house and split the proceeds. If neither party can afford the house, your only option is to sell the home and split the proceeds.
Another consideration is whether the parties agree on the value of the home. If parties can agree on a value of the home, then the party keeping the house will get the assets in the equitable division of property. Essentially this is a buyout meaning that the party will have to pay out in other assets. If the parties do not agree on a value, they can pursue individual appraisals. If they still cannot agree on a value for the home, the issue will be decided at trial.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.