With the possible exception of retirement accounts and family businesses, real property is usually the most expensive marital asset that couples have to handle in North Dakota divorces. You may have spent years saving up enough money for a down payment and more than a decade slowly reducing the principal balance on your mortgage.
You and your spouse probably both want to preserve your interest in the home when you divorce. Is it worthwhile to go to court and litigate over your marital home during your divorce proceedings?
Letting go of the house can be healthy
You may have many wonderful memories at your home, but some of those memories may become painful after your divorce. It can be difficult to live in the same place after the end of your marriage. In addition to the emotional costs, many people find it challenging to maintain a home on their own without support.
From both a financial and an upkeep perspective, the demands may be too much for you to fulfill. Some people eventually realize it is better to give up their claim to possession of the marital home so that they have financial resources rather than multiple obligations as they start out on their own.
Both spouses have rights in most cases
The marital property and equitable distribution rules in North Dakota protect the interest of each spouse in the marital home during divorce proceedings. Even if your name isn’t on the title for the property, the use of marital income and assets to pay for and maintain the home may mean that you have a partial interest in the property.
Regardless of who actually stays at the marital home, you will typically both receive an appropriate share of the house’s equity. It is common for the spouse staying at the home after the divorce to need to refinance the mortgage. They may have to withdraw equity from the home to pay their ex, or they may have to give up their interest in other valuable marital property to keep the home.
Simply put, even if you don’t live there, you will likely receive a fair and appropriate portion of the home’s value in your share of the marital estate. Of course, if you litigate property division matters, there is never any guarantee about how a judge will rule. Many couples choose to collaborate or undergo mediation so that they can file an uncontested divorce where they set their own terms.
Only you can decide if fighting for the home is worth the investment. Considering the possible consequences of property division matters for your upcoming North Dakota divorce.