Your kids have moved away, and things with your spouse have deteriorated. It looks like a divorce is on the horizon.
There may be a number of questions you have about your divorce. One of the biggest questions is what will happen to your marital home?
Getting an appraisal
Determining the value of your house is the first step towards addressing the home in your divorce. It’s recommended each spouse use different professionals to appraise the house to find the most accurate value. After finding the value, you can calculate the equity by subtracting what you owe on the house.
Ways of dividing the home
The three main solutions regarding your home in divorce are:
- Retaining the house with your spouse temporarily
- Selling the house and splitting the profits
- Refinancing the mortgage to remove your spouse from the loan and living there without your spouse
Selling the house
This is the simplest way to handle the issue of what to do with your home. After handling mortgage debt and taxes, splitting the money left over can help with other divorce-related expenses.
Keeping the house
If only one of you decides to keep the house, the easiest way to become the sole owner is to refinance the mortgage. This way the house will no longer be jointly held. The money this gives you will help you buy out your spouse’s portion of the equity.
There are also reasons you may decide to keep the home together. It may not be the right time to sell your house. You also may not be able to afford moving out.
Understanding Mississippi’s property laws
The division of your property is largely determined by whether you owned it prior to or after marriage.
- Marital property encompasses property gained or received during the marriage, which makes it jointly owned.
- Property you had before the marriage is considered separate property and is often not considered for division.
Because Mississippi has no community property laws, the court must decide how to divide property fairly. Since the court considers marital property jointly owned it’s likely it will be jointly divided.
A court could also decide an unequal property split is necessary. This can happen when one of the parties alleges some fault.
It’s possible for the spouses to create their own property division agreement and have this recognized by the court.
Finally deciding to go through with your divorce can be a liberating moment. Fortunately, you can find a way to divide your marital home that works for both you and your spouse.