When a couple gets divorced, they must decide what will happen with all of the marital property that they acquired during the course of the marriage. The marital property which must be resolved oftentimes includes one or more pieces of real property, including the marital home where the couple resides. Deciding what to do with the marital home – one of the most valuable assets a couple can own – can be a very difficult question.
There are several ways that couples going through a divorce can resolve ownership of their home. These solutions include:
Selling the Marital Home – Sometimes, people simply prefer to sell the marital home and get a fresh start. In this case, the parties can list the home for sale to a third-party buyer and split the net proceeds of the sale equitably. Oftentimes, people agree to split the proceeds 50/50 but there are other factors which may dictate that the proceeds should be split differently. Note, if the parties cannot agree on what to do with the home and take their case to trial, it is very likely that the Court will require that the home be sold.
Purchase or “Buy Out” the Other Party’s Interest in the Marital Home – Although the parties are going through a divorce, it is not uncommon for one party to want to keep the marital home after the divorce. In that event, the other party can agree to transfer their title and interest in the marital home to the party retaining the home. In return, the transferring party must be compensated for their interest in the marital home. This solution is good for situations where one party wants to keep the home and the other party wants to leave the home following a divorce.
Use and Possession of the Marital Home – Under the law, the Court can award one party use and possession of the marital home for up to three (3) years. However, this only applies if the parties have at least one (1) minor child who resides in the marital home. This can be advantageous for couples who want their child to remain in the home they are familiar with to preserve stability during and following the divorce. Once the use and possession period expires, the marital home is typically sold unless the parties come to an alternative agreement about what happens with the home at that time.
It can be difficult to decide what to do with the marital home during a divorce. The parties – and their children, if any – often have emotional ties to the home which can affect what they want to do with the home following a divorce. Of course, it can also be difficult to resolve the financial aspects of home ownership during a divorce, such as how the proceeds from the sale of the home should be split.
It is extremely important that you have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney in your corner as you go through the divorce process. Robert Greenberg, Esq. and the Greenberg Legal Group can guide you through this process and find the best outcome for your specific circumstances. Our firm is located in Annapolis, Maryland and practices in Courts throughout the State of Maryland. Please contact our office at (410) 650-4242 for further assistance.