Kennedy Law Associates

How to keep the marital home during a divorce

North Carolina couples going through a divorce have to make many important decisions about property division. One of the most critical decisions has to do with what will happen to the marital home.

In many situations, one spouse will end up buying the other spouse out and keeping the home. If the property is jointly owned, this can be accomplished by having one spouse sign away his or her right to the title via a quit claim deed. However, while a quit claim deed removes the right of ownership from a spouse, it does not remove that spouse from his or her responsibility to pay the mortgage. If the spouse that keeps the home fails to pay the mortgage, it can negatively impact the other spouse's credit. In order to avoid such a scenario, experts recommend that the spouse who is keeping the home should get a new mortgage loan.

Before entering into this arrangement, divorcing couples should have a title search done to make sure there aren't any hidden liens or debts against the property. They should also have the home inspected for any needed repairs and wait for those repairs to be completed. The property should then be appraised, and both parties should have a tax professional explain the tax consequences of the arrangement to them. Before the loan is completed, a second title search should be conducted to make sure nothing new has popped up.

Individuals facing divorce may find it helpful to seek the advice of an attorney before making any major decisions. An attorney may carefully review the situation and offer guidance regarding property division, child custody and other important divorce legal matters. The attorney might also help negotiate agreements on visitation rights, spousal support, child support and more.

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