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What do couples do with their marital home during divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Property Division |

Buying a home together is a common marital investment. It is also a common source of conflict when couples decide to divorce. The home people own together is a source of precious memories and may also represent a sizable portion of someone’s personal wealth.

Therefore, those who purchase homes during a marriage are often concerned about what may become of that property when they file for divorce. A primary residence in Maryland could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and each spouse may have strong feelings about what should happen with that property when they divorce. The following are some of the more common solutions for those who must address a marital home in their divorce proceedings.

Joint property ownership

Deciding to continue owning the property together is the least common option. However, couples in a variety of scenarios may negotiate contracts for shared future ownership of their marital home. Perhaps they decide to work on the property to improve its value before listing it for sale at some point in the future. Maybe they decide to rent it out as a source of income that both spouses can share.

Those with children sometimes agree to a birdnesting custody arrangement. They maintain joint ownership of the marital home to preserve the stability of their children as much as possible. The parents then stay in the home during their parenting time and elsewhere when they do not have time with the children.

Sole ownership for one spouse

Sometimes, one spouse has more of an interest in the property than the other, possibly because they purchased it prior to marriage or inherited it from family members. Other times, it could be custody arrangements for minor children that lead to one person having a stronger reason to stay in the marital home than the other.

It’s common for one person to retain ownership and possession of the marital home after a Maryland divorce. Typically, they either need to withdraw home equity when refinancing to compensate their spouse or agree to other property division terms that account for the equity accrued during the marriage.

The sale of the home

There are scenarios in which neither spouse can afford the home after a Maryland divorce. There are also many couples who agree that neither spouse wants to live in the same home after a divorce. They may agree to sell the home and share in the income derived from that transaction. When spouses sell the marital home, each may receive funds that can help them establish an independent lifestyle after the divorce.

Considering different solutions for valuable marital property may help people better plan for the future during a Maryland divorce.

Terenzini & Lucero, LLC.

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