What happens when one spouse wants to keep the marital home?
Amy Wechsler’s Answer:
If the property is owned by both parties and is considered a marital asset, then both parties have an interest in it. If the property has equity (meaning its value exceeds the amount of any mortgages), then both parties are entitled to share that equity. The parties must determine what each of their interests is, and then the party who wants to keep the house must buy out the other party’s interest in it. For properties with a mortgage, the spouse who keeps the house should also refinance the mortgage so that the other party, who will no longer own the house, will not be financially responsible for the debt.
Try to avoid letting an emotional connection with a house lead to making a bad financial decision. The party seeking to keep the marital home will have to cover mortgage, property taxes, assessments, utilities, repairs and all the other carrying costs, and should review his or her finances very carefully to make sure this is a financially viable option.