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Seeking the marital home during a divorce

It's fairly common for a spouse going through a divorce in Kentucky to seek ownership of the marital home as part of their settlement. Sometimes the quest for the family home is a struggle that's ultimately resolved by the court or lengthy negotiations between legal representatives. There are also times when a spouse expresses a willingness to let the other party simply buy them out. However, this type of arrangement may not be so simple if certain issues are not considered before moving forward with the transaction.

Before claiming ownership of the marital home during a divorce, it can be helpful for a soon-to-former-spouse to determine the size of a home's equity to avoid unforeseen legal obligations. When there is no contention over the home, a spouse may sign over ownership with a quit claim deed. However, this step could be troublesome if loan responsibilities are still shared. The non-owning spouse failing to make loan payments and being faced with costly repairs due to previously undetected defects are among the potential problems that could make ownership of the marital home less desirable.

Some of these potential issues may be avoided if the spouse with the home obtains a new loan. It may also be beneficial for the party getting the home to treat the transaction as if they were purchasing a first-time home from a stranger. This means they would take steps such as doing a title search, having the property inspected, and checking for hidden liens or loans.

With property division involving the marital home, a lawyer may recommend running a second title search before signing off on ownership transfers since unexpected issues sometimes pop up at the end of the divorce process. An attorney may also be able to point out possible tax consequences associated with certain jointly owned assets other than the marital home, such as stocks and bonds and vehicles. It should be noted that a divorce settlement or decree will not override creditor agreements that were signed together during the marriage.

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Dietz & Overmann, PLLC
130 Dudley Road Suite 150
Edgewood, KY 41017

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