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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Handling a marital home in a divorce case

Tennessee residents have four options when it comes to handling a marital home in a divorce. First, an individual may choose to buy out his or her spouse's interest in the home. Alternatively, they may allow their spouse to buy out their interest in the property. It may also be possible for each party to retain their interest in the home and continue to contribute to the mortgage and other costs.

Finally, the house may be sold with both parties to the marriage splitting the proceeds. In some cases, the split may not be an equal one. How the proceeds are split may depend on who made the down payment or the terms of a divorce settlement. If a former couple chooses to retain joint ownership of a home after a divorce, they should work together to maximize their return when it is time to sell it.

By working together, they may be able to get top dollar for the property. It is important to note that a lender will hold an individual responsible if his or her name is on the mortgage regardless of who lives in the home. Therefore, it may be difficult to obtain a new mortgage until the mortgage on the previous home is refinanced or the home is sold.

In most cases, property obtained during the marriage is eligible to be split in a divorce. An attorney may be able to help an individual determine what may be marital property and what may be individual property. If a home is purchased prior to a marriage, it may be considered the property of the person who bought it. However, appreciation that occurred while a couple was married may be considered joint property that may be split among both parties to that marriage.

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