Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Keeping the House in a Divorce

If you want to keep the house in a divorce, you may wonder what they will entail. If the mortgage is in joint names or in your spouse's name, you are definitely going to need to refinance the mortgage into your own name at the time you get divorced, unless your spouse is nice and agrees to stay on the mortgage longer. If there is equity in the home, and not enough other assets to compensate your spouse in other ways, there is a good chance you are also going to need to come up with additional money as part of the refinance in order to buy your spouse out. The equity will be the value of the home at the time of the distribution less all the debt on the home (mortgage, home equity lien, etc.). The amount you will have to pay your spouse will depend on the percentage split of the assets as well where you live. In some counties they will deduct the cost of sale even though you are not selling the home. In others, they do not. If you need to time to be able to refinance, in some cases, it is recommended that you wait the two year period that you can delay a divorce by not consenting. During that time, as long as the mortgage is being paid you can remain the house while you work to build your credit or income so that you can refinance. If you are interested in keeping the house, you will want to check your credit as soon as you separate and talk to a mortgage broker or lender to see what things you will need to do in order to qualify for a loan and then set a plan to meet those steps. You also want to make sure you create a budget to make sure that you really can afford the home. You will need to project your income, the support you receive and the costs of the home, not just the mortgage but all the maintenance and make a decision based on all those factors. 

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