Often the first major hurdle do resolve when considering a divorce is working out what to do with your home. Because this is often the largest asset that most people have.The family home can present many challenges to the smooth resolution of a divorce beyond the fundamental issue of who gets to keep the house.
The division of property is a fundamental part of allowing a soon to be ex-couple to move on with separate lives while maintaining as much financial security as possible. It doesn't matter if its a high asset divorce or there is a relatively modest marital estate to consider, both parties have long term interests at stake. California family law statutes require an equitable division of marital property as part of the dissolution process, and this includes everything from real property, vehicles and securities to pensions, retirement savings and any business interests. The property division process must also factor in outstanding obligations such as credit card debt, auto loans and the largest debt most couples face: a mortgage on the family residence.
The amount of equity is an asset that the parties will want to factor in to their overall consideration of the financial issues of divorce. Assuming that one spouse keeps the home as well as the obligation to continue mortgage payments, the other spouse must still ensure that his or her legal obligation to pay is eliminated. While a negotiated divorce agreement has legal effect between the ex-spouses, it has no bearing on the eventual non-resident spouse's obligation to the creditor. In other words, with out any change to financing arrangements, both spouses can still be held accountable if mortgage arrears begin to mount and foreclosure proceedings begin. A spouse who was willing to walk away from the family home could suffer serious damage to his or her credit rating even though the other spouse had committed to paying the mortgage. Because selling the home is not always possible or desirable, often the best alternative is to refinance the home in the resident spouse's sole name prior to finalizing the divorce.
This is one of the many important issues that need to be resolved as part of the division of property when going through divorce proceedings. Because of the complex nature of many of these issues it's important that you understand the long-term implications of any decisions you make, so it's vital to have an experienced family law attorney working with you and answering any questions that you may have.