Your divorce may include taking ownership of your marital home so that you may continue living in it. As noted on the North Carolina Judicial Branch website, you must file a claim to divide your property fairly between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
If you fail to claim an interest in owning your home after divorce, the court may not honor your wishes to keep it. By filing a claim, however, the court may distribute the assets acquired during your marriage. A judge may review whether 100% ownership of your home reflects fairness.
How may the court determine fairness?
The Tar Heel State’s laws generally do not recognize fairness as an equal or a 50-50 division. When an individual requests 100% ownership of a marital asset, a judge may review several factors. The length of a marriage, each spouse’s age and any health conditions may determine whether a judge awards an asset to one spouse.
To keep your home, the court may require showing that you earn enough income to afford it. If you request custody of your children and they will reside in the home, you may file a claim for financial support. The amount of an award may contribute to your ability to maintain the home after your divorce.
How may a mortgage change with divorce?
If your home currently has an outstanding mortgage, you may refinance it to take ownership. As noted by Bankrate.com, a new home loan may release an ex-spouse’s name from the note. He or she may no longer have responsibility for making payments.
Your home’s equity may support your request to take ownership of it. When filing a claim with the court, a judge may, however, review your ability to afford the home. A lender may also consider the payments you expect to receive as court-ordered financial support from your ex-spouse.