One of the most common issues present in the
divorce cases that we handle is addressing the marital residence and all the ramifications
attendant thereto. Who gets to keep it? Who can afford it? What about
the children? Can one party qualify for re-financing?
The first question that must be addressed is, what are the financial circumstances
surrounding the residence? What, if any, equity is there in the marital
residence? If there is not any equity in the residence, then the question
becomes can one party afford the residence on their own? If there is equity
in the property, what is the best way to divide it? Do the parties have
other debt they need to pay off with the equity? Are there other assets
to offset one party receiving the equity? Is it best to sell the house,
split the proceeds and both parties downsize into smaller abodes?
Obviously, based on the questions above, this analysis is performed on
a case-by-case basis and must be determined based on the specific circumstances at hand.
If there are minor children involved, it is usually the desire of the
parties to do what they can to keep the marital residence in some form
or fashion to maintain continuity and stability. If this is the case,
we must examine one party’s ability to re-finance and their ability
to afford the home on their own. Thus, we must review the ultimate division
of assets and liabilities, the
maintenance award (if any) and the
child support award. All of these factors will be reviewed by the lender to determine
if said party qualifies for a loan. Typically, the lender will need to
see at least six months of said payments to consider it as income for
loan purposes. Therefore, it is critical that the time to refinance as
set forth in the Agreement or Court Order allows for this type of flexibility.
Further, the lender will also need said payments to continue for at least
three years to be considered as income for loan purposes.
As you can see, there are a myriad of issues that need to analyzed in
order for you to successfully walk away from your divorce in a realistic
and financially stable manner. Thus, it is critical that you hire attorneys
with the expertise and compassion to see you through.
contact the Domestic Team at Feldmann Nagel, LLC for all of your Family Law needs.