Moving on from divorce is one of the hardest things we can ever do. The mix of emotions it can ignite is overpowering and disorientating. Often it can feel as if you’re slipping in and out of all of them. Sadness, anger, relief, confusion, fear. Sometimes the only thing you can think to do is run. Get out, get anywhere, but outrunning the new life you find yourself in can have consequences.
How will divorce impact property ownership?
For starters, it is your marriage that is over, not your life. Although it can feel so finite, there is actually a whole new beginning, and once the spinning of emotions has calmed, you want to be content in the knowledge that your ties to the past are dealt with. Most importantly, you want to know that you have come good on the other side.
Divorce will impact your property ownership
The complications of divorce can be just as overwhelming as the emotions. They need careful planning and, if possible, an amenable conversation on both sides of the table. One of the most important things divorce impacts is property ownership and deciding who gets to keep the property after the divorce. Property will be central in any divorce settlement and what happens to that property will depend on those conversations.
Firstly, it is important to look into the insurance side of things. In your mortgage contract, there may be clauses you have signed in regard to selling the property. Due-on-sale clauses have certain ramifications for divorcing partners, and this will need to be discussed as you both now fall under an exemption, but the option of selling is a subject matter most likely influenced by the division of the property itself.
You could decide under the Equitable Division Law
There is a lot to know about property division during divorce. If you were to go to court, then the division of property will be decided under the Equitable Division Law, meaning the property is fairly divided (though not necessarily equally divided). In short, the court decides how fairest to split all of your marital assets.
Although, if you are concerned that your other half’s name was on the deed for the house, don’t worry: you are still entitled to the home under the division law.
There are many things they will look at when formulating a decision, such as the income of yourself and your spouse, the length of the marriage, children, benefits, as well as your age, and health at the time of divorce. I know what you are thinking, though.
It feels wrong to let a member of a court pass judgment on what they think you are entitled to. It is a home you have worked for, been comfortable in, and possibly even started a family in. How could it be their choice? They are a stranger, after all. This is why it is important to remember that your spouse isn’t.
Working things out between you is often the best option
If you are able to work out property ownership amenably, then this can often be the best option. You both know each other and you are both adults who can recognize what is fair and what isn’t. If you have a joint mortgage and one of you decides to stay in the property, then this can be changed so that only one person has their name on it. This will allow the person whose name is off the mortgage to borrow more in order to buy themselves a new home.
Likewise, you could decide to transfer a portion of the property’s value to the other as a financial settlement. This allows the leaving partner to keep a stake in the home, so although they are no longer connected to the property, they will still receive a percentage if it is eventually sold.
Think about what is best for yourself and those around you
If neither of you is interested in keeping the property then you could sell and use the money earned to buy a separate property each. If children are involved, however, it is important to make decisions that will benefit them. Divorce can be a stressful event for any child and taking them away from their home could amplify their anxiety.
If this is something you are concerned about, then there is no harm in going to a child therapist for their opinion. You too should not be worried about seeking advice. The intricacies of property ownership after divorce are full-on.
If you are going to court then be sure to consult a family law attorney in order to understand what your rights are. If you are confused about what it is that you want, then it is always okay to talk to someone about options, whether that be family, a friend, or a therapist who can help you decide what is best.