Couples who go through a divorce are required to separate their lives from one another. In doing so, they must divide their assets between the two of them. This can be complicated, especially when the two own a house together. When facing a divorce, couples often wonder what will happen to their home. Usually, a house is considered marital property. This means that it is subject to equitable distribution in a divorce and will be fairly divided between spouses. During this time, it can be helpful to retain the services of an experienced attorney.
When is a House Considered Marital Property?
Marital property is classified as anything that is bought or acquired during the marriage. It is because of this that if a couple buys a home together after they are married, it is marital property that can be equitably distributed. However, it is important to know that if the house was bought before the marriage and the other spouse’s name was not put on the title, it is not marital property. It is then classified as separate property and is not subject to equitable distribution.
Equitably Distributing a Home
When a house is distributed equitably during a divorce, it does not mean that the property is divided equally. Instead, it means that it is divided in a way that is fair and just to both former partners. There are three ways that a home can be equitably distributed between couples in the state of Georgia:
- Selling the house. As most spouses cannot afford to buy out the other and maintain the cost of the home, selling the house is usually the easiest option. Once this is done, the proceeds can be divided equally between the two spouses. In some cases, it can be divided unequally to compensate one spouse for giving up another asset.
- Arrange a buyout. If it is possible, one spouse can buy out the other spouse’s equity in their home. The buying spouse can refinance their loan on the house and the selling spouse can receive their share of the equity. The loan will then be in the name of only the buying spouse.
- Continue to co-own the house. This is common when the former couple has children together and it benefits them to stay in the family home. In these situations, one spouse generally moves out and waits a period of time before selling the house.
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Alfred Law Firm, LLC is proud to serve clients in Georgia when they face legal matters related to family law and criminal defense. When legal issues arise, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced attorney that can help you obtain a favorable outcome. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.