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How do you divide home equity when you divorce?

Posted On January 29, 2020 In High Asset Divorce

Depending on the length of your marriage, you and your spouse may have a relatively easy time dividing up your property, or you may find that it involves considerable time, effort and expense. In many marriages, the most valuable asset divorcing parties share is their marital home, so figuring out how to split up its equity is often an important aspect of property division. 

According to NerdWallet, most people in your shoes choose to divide up the equity they have in their once-shared home in one of three ways. Regardless of what method you choose to use when splitting up your home’s equity, your first step should be to figure out exactly how much equity you have to work with. How might you do this? 

Often, former couples find that they get an accurate picture of the amount of equity they have in their homes by hiring appraisers. Having each party hire his or her own appraiser may benefit you, as doing so may protect both sides while giving you a better chance of spotting any inaccuracies revealed in one appraisal or the other. Once you have an idea of how much equity you actually have, you should be able to figure out how to divide it. 

Many couples parting ways simply sell their marital homes and then split any profits the sale generates between them. If the housing market is particularly poor where you live, though, you may choose to both remain in the home, or take turns staying in the home, until the market improves. A third option may fit your needs if either you or your spouse want to remain in the home while the other party moves. In this scenario, the party who wants to stay should refinance the mortgage so it is under his or her name, only.