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Steps to keeping a home in a divorce

What to do with the family home in a divorce can be a difficult decision for some Kansas couples. If one individual decides to keep it, there are still a number of steps to take.

First, the couple should hire an appraiser to get the home’s value. That value and the mortgage balance are used to calculate how much equity each person has. Some couples may want the additional financial protection of each person having an appraiser. Ideally, these appraisers will come up with a similar home value, but a third party may need to be hired if their valuations differ substantially. A home inspector can identify any problems with the property, which allows the couple to decide how to address necessary repairs before the divorce is final.

The person who is not keeping the home should be removed from the title using a quitclaim deed or another method recommended by legal counsel. There are several ways that the spouse who is purchasing the home can pay for it. One option is to pay cash, but most people do not have this much in liquid assets. The buyer may need to refinance the home. Another option is to have one spouse keep one or more assets that are of equal value to the home.

Divorce can leave people financially vulnerable, and it is important for them to fully understand the consequences of decisions made at this time. For example, a person may want to hold onto the house for sentimental reasons or because it seems better for the children. However, it is important to ensure that it is affordable on a single income. People should also be aware of taxes and other costs associated with assets. An attorney may be able to assist a person in determining how marital assets might be split fairly.