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Economic decisions during a divorce

Everyone marries with the best intentions. You have children, buy a home and build a life together. Then, something happens, and things begin to fall apart. At some point, you realize you are going to get divorced. What do you do with the life you have now? Your divorce is the process of deconstructing your married life, and it is different for every couple.

But some elements are the same. Take for instance your home. If you are like most couples, your home was purchased with a mortgage. While you have a possessory interest in the physical property, the bank or financial institution that holds your mortgage actually “owns” the home. During your divorce, you have to decide what to do with that home.

You generally have two options. If neither spouse wants the property, you can sell it and divide the proceeds. Of course, this assumes you can sell the home. In the last few years, there have been cases of couples being trapped in their marriage by a home that they could not sell for a price high enough to pay off their mortgage. If you can sell it and pay off the mortgage, the remaining proceeds need to be divided, in some cases by

The other option is if one party wishes to remain in the home. This becomes much more complex, because they have to be able to afford the mortgage on their own, and most likely, refinance to remove the former spouse who is not remaining.

Lending institution like to have more, rather than less, parties they can collect missing payments from, so they may not be cooperative. This would mean the party keeping the home might need to take out a new mortgage solely in their name, which can be a daunting financial challenge.

These are all issues you should discuss with your divorce attorney. Your decision should be based on what will make the economic sense for your life after your divorce.