Divorce brings many decisions which must be made, many of which are complex. One of the most common questions for married homeowners is who keeps the house in a divorce, if anyone? In Arizona, property and other assets that were acquired during the marriage are considered community property with certain exceptions. Community property is to be distributed in an equitable manner in a divorce. There are several options available to parties as they make the major decisions of uncoupling.

Home Options

There are several options to choose from when you divorce with a house. You may opt to sell the home and share the profits, if there are any. One party may choose to purchase the home from the other spouse. This may require the spouse to forfeit some of the other marital assets or take out a loan to pay for the other spouse’s interest in the home. Finally, you may decide to continue to own the home together for a certain period of time. This option should be entered into with a high degree of caution and only after consulting with a family law attorney.

Determine Your Home’s Value

One of the first things to do as you begin the divorce process is to determine the current market value of your home. The amount of equity that you have invested in your home may help to decide what to do with it. Couples who are upside down in their mortgage, meaning they owe more, or almost more, than their home is worth, may be better off waiting to sell their home until the market price increases.  They may also consider other options, such as a short sale.

Have Your Home Appraised

In order to know the real market value of your home, you may wish to have your property appraised. The appraisal will show you the true worth of your house and should be completed by an impartial third party professional. Next, contact your mortgage lender to receive a current statement indicating the amount of money owed on the loan. Together, these two pieces of information are critical in helping you decide what is best.

Seek Legal Help

Your divorce attorney will be an important resource in facilitating a successful divorce. There are many things to consider when deciding what to do with the house, as well as other shared property. Both current and future consequences must be considered, which will be accomplished with guidance from your lawyer.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Who Keeps the House in a Divorce, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Lindsay A.M. Olivarez at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.