A home purchased during your marriage becomes part of your shared marital property. Maryland’s equitable distribution laws require divorcing couples to divide jointly owned properties fairly between them.
As noted on the MDCourts.gov website, the court may order you to pay your soon-to-be ex-spouse for his or her fair share of the home. By doing so, you may take ownership and remain living in it for as long as you like.
How may I find a way to pay my ex-spouse’s fair share?
As reported by Money.com, your home’s equity may supply enough value to buy your spouse’s share. You may, however, need to obtain a professional appraisal and then negotiate a fair buyout. After reviewing your home’s value, you may agree on splitting your home’s excess equity.
Some divorcing couples, for example, use their appraisal to agree on dividing their home equity value in half. If you do not have enough cash to buy out your spouse, you may instead offer your share of other marital assets in exchange for removing your spouse’s name from the deed.
How may I take ownership of a home without equity?
Many lenders require divorcing couples to refinance a mortgage in one spouse’s name. The individual taking ownership of the home generally applies for a new home loan and the lender removes the former spouse from the note.
When submitting mortgage applications, you may need to show enough income to afford monthly payments. Lenders typically consider the financial support or alimony that the court orders an ex-spouse to provide.
So long as your soon-to-be ex-spouse agrees on you taking ownership of your home, you may discuss a fair division of its equity value. If you need additional cash to pay your spouse’s share, you may apply for a new mortgage or trade other shared assets worth the same value.