Haddonfield Divorce Attorney: Top 5 Things to Consider when Buying Out your Spouse’s Interest in the Marital HomeJuly 31, 2012
By Jamie Galemba, Esq.
The divorce is in the works and it’s time to move on with your life. Your first concern may likely be where you are going to live after the divorce is final. Giving up the home you’ve worked so hard for may be more painful than giving up your soon-to-be ex; however, keeping it may not be as easy as you would like it to be. Whether or not you can buy out your spouse and stay in your family home involves several considerations.
1. Can I afford to buyout my spouse’s interest in the home?
If a party is refinancing, he or she must ensure that they will have sufficient income to meet the future monthly expense of a mortgage. A spouse may need a certain level of alimony to meet this expense, or conversely, may only be able to pay a certain level of alimony to meet the expense.
2. What are the credits to which I am entitled that may reduce the amount of money I need to buy out my spouse?
If a home has $50,000.00 of equity in it, your spouse may very likely be entitled to half of same. So, it will be necessary to pull out $25,000.00 for that spouse to buy out his or her interest. However, if that spouse has an investment account with $15,000.00 in it, you may decide to negotiate an offset. If you are entitled to $7,500.00 of that account, you many only need to pull $17,500.00 for the buy-out.
3. What happens if I don’t get approved for a loan?
Most likely, the home will have to be sold, which can make continued payment of household expenses extremely difficult. If you are at all interested in buying out your spouse’s interest, you should obtain an appraisal of the home, and obtain pre-approval from a lending institution as soon as possible. The sooner you know what you can and can’t afford, the sooner you can make alternative plans.
4. When does my spouse have to leave the home?
This depends entirely on the agreement reached between parties, or by a court simply entering an order. It is not unusual for a Court to provide a vacating spouse with two or three months to find new housing. You should consider this not only with respect to obtaining pre-approval as early as possible, but also with respect to dealing with expenses during the interim from the time of agreement to the time your spouse leaves the home.
5. Why do I want to retain the home?
This question is the most personal, but perhaps the most important question of all. Do you want your children to have stability in the same household? Do you believe the investment of a refinance will pay off when you eventually sell your home? Do you have some personal attachment to the home (i.e., the home was a fixer-upper, and you completely renovated it)? Whatever the case may be, you have to decide if your reason for wanting the home is reason enough to go through the process of refinancing and buying out your spouse.
Call the Haddonfield Divorce Attorneys at Adinolfi & Lieberman for Assistance
No matter what, the earlier you begin the processof buying out your spouse, the more prepared you will be when your divorce matter comes to its conclusion. An attorney can help you determine the potential financial issues you will face in making this decision. For over 35 years, the experienced, knowledgeable New Jersey divorce attorneys at Adinolfi & Lieberman in Haddonfield have provided assistance to clients throughout New Jersey as they face the many considerations inherent to a divorce proceeding, including whether or not to buyout a spouse’s interest in the marital home. Call us today at 856-428-8334 or contact us online.
Jamie Galemba graduated from Rutgers School of Law in Camden, New Jersey, where she participated in the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion. After graduating from law school, Jamie served as the law clerk to the Honorable Harold U. Johnson, Jr., J.S.C., and the Honorable Darrell M. Fineman, J.S.C., in Cumberland County. Since September 2008, Jamie has been an associate attorney with Adinolfi and Lieberman, P.A., and focuses her practice of law on all aspects of family law.