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Columbus divorce marital home headaches and solutions

Homes provide a landscape for a marriage, where the majority of a couple's good and bad times play out. Some Columbus spouses feel holding out for a marital home is a way to preserve the best of a fading relationship during divorce. Sometimes spouses simply want to avoid starting over in a new, strange place after a break-up.

Marital homes can be an extremely sensitive area of property division in divorce. A spouse may insist the children need a stable, familiar environment. Even when spouses agree on this point, there can be legal problems resolving who stays and who pays for the mortgage.

A home is usually a joint debt and that's exactly how a lender views it whether parties involved are married, separated or divorced. Moving out doesn't absolve a spouse from loan responsibility and neither does a divorce decree. The home can be sold to release spouses from the debt, but that's not the solution many former couples want.

When selling a house is undesirable, the spouse who wants to remain in the home can refinance the mortgage in a single name. During refinancing, the vacating spouse is likely to want a return on the home investment, like 50 percent of the original down payment or equity. Those terms can be worked into the refinancing, provided the spouse living in the home can afford the pay off.

Mortgage payments are frequently dependent on two incomes. It's often impractical for a single-income ex-spouse to afford a mortgage once supported by two people. Refinancing may not be possible, even when one spouse is awarded the property in a settlement, creating potential credit problems for both spouses in the wake of divorce.

Many individuals have financial struggles after a marriage ends. Responsibility for an unaffordable property shouldn't be one of them. Marital home divorce options can be discussed with real estate professionals, financial advisers and attorneys.

Source: Fox Business, "How to Divide Your House in a Divorce" Jul. 14, 2014

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