Divorce involves emotional difficulties and important financial decisions that must be managed. One of the most important decisions is about the house.
In fact, in the event of a divorce you especially need clear, precise, and impartial answers about your real estate assets. Once you know what is likely to happen with the mortgage, the taxes, all the issues related to the house, the decision making will be easier. A neutral, well-documented third-party opinion will allow you to make rational rather than emotional decisions.
First, you need to ask yourself if you want to continue living in the house. Or do you want to move to the place that will be a symbol of a new beginning for you?
Only you can answer these questions. However, regardless of the answer, the financial implications must be considered in the decision-making process. What can you afford? Can you handle the house on your “new” budget? Can you reopen your mortgage and negotiate a refinance? Is it better to sell and buy something else? What do you think you can buy with your new money?
The purpose of this study is to help you ask yourself the right questions to make informed decisions.
4 options to consider
It is important to understand the financial implications of each of these scenarios.
Sell the house and share the profits
Your main interest in this option is to maximize the sale price of the property. We can help you avoid mistakes that could jeopardize the expected results. While you are trying to get your affairs in order, make sure of the net profit you can expect. After the expenses surrounding the sale and after you have determined the profit split, what will be left? The split may not be 50/50 because the divorce decree ruled otherwise, or the cash on the purchase was different, or because the laws regarding family assets would affect things differently.
Buying your spouse’s share
If you intend to keep the house, you’ll have to figure out how to meet your monthly obligations if you only have one salary. If you used two incomes to qualify for the mortgage, you may have difficulty getting refinancing on your own.
Selling your share to your spouse
If you leave, you can start fresh with cash in your pocket. However, be aware that if the existing mortgage remains in effect, you and your spouse who signed the loan will remain jointly and severally liable. This liability on the previous mortgage may prevent you from obtaining a mortgage if you buy a new home even though you no longer legally own the first home.
Some divorced couples will postpone the decision to sell for some time even if only one spouse lives in the house. This situation can save you some trouble but requires some vigilance with respect to tax rules. Keep in mind that by the time you sell, your tax filing status may have changed.
When you decide to sell
If you and your spouse decide to sell the house, surround yourself with professionals to get the most out of this important asset. Your differences should be put aside, and you should be involved when you sign the brokerage contract.