What to do with the house after a divorce

Divorcing may end a marriage, but it does not end shared financial obligations such as home ownership. Minnesota homeowners who are divorcing will need to figure out how to divide that asset. In some cases, people may feel too battered by the process to fight over the home and will want to relinquish it to their ex. Some couples decide to remain in the home and pay off the mortgage despite ending their marriage.

However, there are other ways around this. One is to sell the house and for the parties to divide the equity. This might not be a 50/50 split depending on who paid for home improvements and whether there was a prenuptial agreement among other factors.

Even if one spouse wants the other to have it without fighting, the two must then decide whether they will both remain on the mortgage after the divorce. If not, the spouse who wants the house must refinance and qualify again, and this could involve a down payment, a cosigner or both. Then, a quitclaim deed must be completed to remove the other party from the mortgage.

Deciding what to do with a house is only one aspect of complex property division that a couple going through a divorce must face. Debts, investments and other shared assets must be split, and a couple must also negotiate custody and visitation if they have children. Because these negotiations can be emotionally fraught, the parties may want to have their respective family law attorneys step in and see if they can take over negotiations of a settlement agreement.

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