What Happens to the Family Home in a Pennsylvania Divorce?
On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Family Law on Friday, October 7, 2016.
For many Pennsylvania residents, their homes are the largest and most expensive assets they own. When couples decide to divorce, what happens to those homes could be a major cause of concern. All of the options should be explored before making a decision that could end up being more costly in the future.
If the home is not the separate asset of one of the parties, it will be included in the marital estate. Whether one party keeps the home depends on a variety of factors such as the amount of the mortgage loan and one's earning capacity. Even if a party is able to obtain a mortgage loan on his or her own, other expenses related to home ownership could cause financial issues in the future.
Beyond being able to afford to keep the house, the other party is more than likely entitled to receive a portion of the value of the home. In most cases, the party keeping the home does not have the cash to give the other spouse. This means that other assets could be given up in order to offset the necessary amount. The party who wants to keep the home needs to carefully consider if doing so is worth the trade-offs that might be needed.
Many Pennsylvania residents want to retain the home for sentimental reasons and feel as though they should fight to do so at all costs. However, when all of the financial issues surrounding the home are taken into consideration (mortgage loan payments, taxes, insurance and repairs/maintenance), the true value of the home might not be as much as a Pennsylvania resident believes. Therefore, it would be worth the time, effort and cost to have your divorce attorney obtain an analysis of all of the marital assets in order be sure that the home is affordable in the long run and that any assets used to offset keeping the home are of similar value.