Protecting Your Home During Divorce / by Cassandra Hearn

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For many couples, the home is one of the most costly assets they will own.  Families spend a lot of time, effort, and financial resources in making a house into a home.  It is no surprise, then, that during a divorce, the marital residence tends to be a main source of contention. In some cases the spouses will both want to retain the marital home, where in some other situations, the disagreement is simply how quickly the home should be sold.  Regardless of the source of the disagreement, you should take steps during your divorce to protect your home. 

If you and your spouse are going through a particularly acrimonious divorce and you both still have access to the home, it is usually a good idea to take some preliminary photographs of the condition of the home.  That way, if your spouse decides to be vindictive and damage the home in some way, you have proof of its original condition.  Similarly, if you are moving out of the residence, you should also document the condition as of the time you move out.  If your spouse fails to properly maintain the residence or tries to blame damage on you, you will then have proof to show that it is your spouse who is responsible.  This protects your home because if you can prove that your spouse is responsible for damage, you can ask the court to order the spouse to repair the damage.

You should also take steps to financially protect your home.  Even in the event that you have already moved out of the home, you should continue to make sure the mortgage is timely paid every month, even if your spouse has been ordered to make the payments.  If your spouse allows the house payments to lapse and the home goes into foreclosure, it can be a large financial loss to you both.

Finally, try to be cooperative and helpful when it comes to making sure the necessary maintenance of the home is kept current.  Especially if you and your spouse are trying to sell the home, it is more likely to sell quickly and command a better sale price if it is well kept.  This can only benefit you and your spouse.

The marital home is an important issue in your divorce.  Let us help you understand your options.  Call us today for an appointment at 619-800-0384.