Keeping the family home after a divorce

Pierre Domercq Divorce

For California couples going through a divorce, the family home is often a main goal. Some want to retain ownership of the home so that they can continue to live in it. Others want their share of the equitable distribution as quickly as possible so that they can buy a new home as soon as the divorce is finalized. Regardless of whether a person wants to keep or sell the home, it is important to know if the finances are available.
Many people want to retain ownership of the marital home purely for emotional reasons. For this to be feasible, the former spouse will have to be able to refinance the home on his or her own. This means having a cash down payment available, some sort of income and a high enough credit score to be eligible for a new mortgage. The other individual will also have to be bought out.
Those who wish to purchase a new home immediately after the divorce can face similar challenges. Having a high enough credit score is a big one as some people fail to keep up with their bills when they first move out of the marital home. Type of income is also extremely important as banks generally do not allow commission and bonuses to be used to qualify for a mortgage.
Because California is a community property state, a court will take all of the assets a couple obtained during the marriage, including real estate, finances and debt, to be divided up equally between the two individuals. This means that if one person wants to retain the home, other assets may have to be given up during the divorce process to keep things as equal as possible. An attorney may assess the value of the marital property so that negotiations can be completed.