Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law

Determine what happens to the marital home in divorce

People who share a home will often become emotionally attached to that dwelling. If the relationship ends, at least one person will have to say good-bye to that house. Determining the fate of it can be difficult, especially when you add in the emotional attachment. Anyone who is going through this situation must find a way to put those emotions aside and focus on the practical side.

There are two primary ways that a home can be handled in divorce. One is that it is sold, and the other is that one party buys the other one out. Deciding which one is appropriate for your case depends largely on the financial aspect of the situation.

If there is a mortgage on the home, the person who's keeping it will have to obtain a mortgage in their name only. This might be done through refinancing. It is important to think carefully about whether you'd be able to cover the monthly payments necessary or not.

Another consideration of having one spouse buy out the other is determining the amount that needs to exchange hands. You might have to bring in experts to determine the home's value.

When the decision is to sell the home, it will have to be listed. Once it sells, you can find out how much, if anything, you will receive. The mortgage must be paid off, along with other home-related expenses as required by law. Then what's left is divided according to the property division agreement.

You have to ensure that you're doing what's in your best interests in this situation. The home is likely only one of the assets that must be divided, so try to balance it out with the others.

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Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law
1607 N.E. 41st Avenue
Portland, OR 97232

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