Buying property with your partner is one of the biggest decisions you can make together. Determining how to split your biggest asset can feel overwhelming, if not impossible when you divorce. If you want to keep the family home for yourself, there are a few ways to do so.
Before you decide to keep the home, keep in mind that you must be able to afford the mortgage as a single person.
Pay your former spouse
One of the most common ways for one spouse to keep the family home is to buy the other spouse’s equity. For example, if you have a $200,000 home and owe $100,000, then you have $100,000 in equity. In this scenario, you would pay your ex $50,000 for his or her share in the house.
Refinance your home
Many spouses choose to refinance a house after the divorce. You can remove your ex’s name from the mortgage when refinancing the home. You can also apply for a cash-out refinance if you need help paying your ex’s equity share. When you refinance, the mortgage lender will look at your individual finances. If you receive spousal support, you can also include the support in your income to improve your chances of qualifying for refinancing.
Before you determine how to split the family home, perform an appraisal on the house. An appraisal will tell you how much your home is worth and your equity. Choosing an appraisal company with your former spouse can help prevent fighting over the value.