How to Divide the Equity in Your Marital Home
You both deserve part of your marital home, but you cannot cut a house down the middle. Splitting the equity in your home requires strategic planning and creative thinking. Common solutions include:
- Selling your home and dividing the equity
- Buying out your spouse with cash or other assets
- Accepting other property in exchange for the home from your spouse
- Renting out the home and dividing the income
Keeping the home
Before you decide to keep the home, consider the practical aspects of the decision. Even if you can afford the monthly mortgage payments, you still need the bank’s loan approval. Research your refinancing options to calculate how the absence of your spouse’s income affects your eligibility, interest rate and payback terms.
Deeding the home to your spouse
Divorce terms that grant your spouse ownership of the home do not immediately make it so. You must deed ownership to your spouse under the laws of New York. However, simply signing a quitclaim deed does not relieve you of your financial responsibilities if your name is still on the promissory note and mortgage loan. Insist that your spouse seek refinancing options before including the provisions in your divorce decree.
Make sure the terms of who pays what are clearly defined. If the responsibility for paying these expenses falls on you after your separation, your equity divisions should account for the amount you contributed. And be sure to work with a tough New York divorce lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected when dividing your home.