The family home is generally one of the most significant assets a married couple has. All marital assets are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce, and this includes the family home. While many people are unsure of what will happen to their home in a divorce, you do have a few options for how to handle this asset in the division of your property.
Perhaps one of the most commonsense options to deal with the family home in a divorce is to sell it and to split the proceeds with your spouse. The real estate market may prevent this from being a profitable option and you may not want to relocate if you still have minor children at home. If the house cannot be sold, one spouse can refinance the mortgage into his or her name, dropping the other spouse from the mortgage. When one spouse transfers the mortgage into their name, he or she may have to pay the other spouse his or her share of the equity. Allocating more of the marital assets to the spouse releasing their rights to the home can be a way of doing this. Alternatively, both spouses can retain the family home in both their names and make arrangements for the payment of the mortgage until a later date when the children move out of the home or the real estate market is more favorable. You can outline the mortgage liabilities in your separation agreement to ensure the rights and obligations of either spouse are clear.
This last option, however, can be risky as the bank still retains the right to collect from either spouse, as long as both names are still on the mortgage. Many people do not want to share the liability of a mortgage with their ex-spouse because of personal reasons or because they do not trust their spouse to pay the mortgage on time. If you are going through a divorce and have concerns about what will happen to your family home, considering working with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator. Divorce mediation is particularly well suited for the division of marital property in a divorce. The alternative, leaving it up to the judge to decide, can be high risk. You’ve worked hard for you home and may have sentimental attachments to it; divorce mediation will allow you to maintain control over what happens to it in your divorce.
If you have questions about how your property will be divided, contact Mediation Advantage Services for experienced family law help. Polly A. Tatum can assist you with dividing your property in a non-adversarial way, helping you maintain your peace of mind and keep your costs down. Based in historic Worcester, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at 508-795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.