During a divorce, the toughest fight is usually either for child custody or home ownership. However, you bought your home long before you ever married your husband and have full right to it in the divorce, right? Not quite.
You Don't Automatically Have The Right To It
Even if you bought the house with your own loan and your husband didn't invest anything in it, there's a chance he could argue his right to keep the house. In a divorce setting, they try to make it fair so that both sides walk away without having a significantly decreased standard of living. As a result, he could argue that he has an emotional attachment to the house or another right to the home that makes it hard to fight.
In these instances, you may be tempted to simply sell the house and keep the money. If you decide to do this, you should know that the money will still be considered both of yours until your divorce is final and you decide how to split it. This frustrating situation is designed to protect divorcing couples from unfair action. If he is pursuing the house or wants to sell it, the best choice is to get it appraised.
How Divorce Appraisal Can Help
A divorce appraisal on your home will not only give you a good idea of what you can get out of it, but help both you and your husband understand how much money you are both entitled to receive. An appraisal takes a look at the property, gauges its value, and decides a fair split. You don't have to go by the appraisal suggestion, of course, but it is often the easiest way to go.
After getting your divorce appraisal, sit down with your husband and talk about a fair sale price. This might be a difficult process for the two of you, but doing it now will actually speed up the divorce proceeding. Don't fight over minor sale prices: if you can come up with two prices that are fairly close, just split the difference.
Splitting The Sale Money
After the sale of the house (which could take months), the two of you need to decide what is a fair separation of property that is ideal for the two of you. This also means dividing up any debts that may still belong to the two of you, particularly on the house. Selling it should eliminate your mortgage payments, though, as the new owner will have to take them on.
The split doesn't have to be a 50/50 divide to be fair. The judge in the case may decide that, as you bought the house, you deserve a majority of the money in the sale. Unless your husband wants to pursue a losing battle (such as unfairly asking for more) that should be the end of this process.
While it will likely be a difficult situation both financially and emotionally to sell your house in this way, a good divorce appraisal can ensure that you at least get the majority of your home sale money.