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Graff & Associates, LLC - Family Law
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How to deal with real estate in a divorce

If a divorcing couple owns a home in Pennsylvania, they’ll need to figure out what to do with the property after the separation. For instance, a couple may decide to sell their former home and split any money remaining after paying off the mortgage and other expenses. However, this may not be feasible if the current mortgage balance is higher than the value of the home.

Keeping a home may also be preferable for those who want to keep their children in the same school district or wait until market conditions change. If now isn’t a good time to sell a marital home, a divorced couple may choose to continue making payments on the property together. Instead of selling a home outright, one could buy out their former spouse’s interest in the property.

In some cases, divorce decrees may stipulate that whoever takes possession of the property is required to refinance the mortgage in their name only. This ensures that the person who no longer lives in a home won’t be liable for future payments. Individuals could use alimony or child support payments as income when attempting to qualify for a loan. Obtaining a cosigner will make it easier for an ex-spouse to get a mortgage on their own.

For a divorce, marital assets are generally allocated according to state property division laws. In addition to obtaining a family home, a divorcee may be entitled to a share of a bank, brokerage or retirement account. Legal counsel could help a client obtain a favorable divorce settlement either at trial or through private settlement talks. An attorney may also review a prenuptial agreement if one exists.