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The factors that influence if a spouse can keep their home in a divorce

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Divorce

Married couples may commit as much as 30% of their monthly income toward housing expenses. Given the overall value of real property in California, a marital home is often one of the most valuable shared assets divorcing couples have to address. The community property laws in California protect people from situations in which they would lose all of their interest in their home. Provided that they purchased the home during the marriage or used marital resources for its mortgage payments or upkeep, at least a portion of the home equity will be classified as marital property.

Some couples want to share that home equity, but other people may prioritize staying in their marital home after the divorce. Such goals are more realistic in some scenarios than others. These are a few of the considerations that determine whether keeping one’s home is the best approach in a California divorce.

Someone’s income and credit score

Finances play a major role in what happens with real property holdings in a California divorce. Not everyone will be able to qualify for a mortgage on their own without the income of their spouse. Either their income or their credit score simply isn’t enough to obtain a mortgage alone. Even if someone verifies that they make enough to refinance the current principal balance on the home and afford the resulting payments, they could still be unable to afford the home. If they withdraw any equity from the property to compensate their spouse for its value, that could significantly increase the principal balance on the mortgage and also the monthly payments they have to make.

Someone’s job and physical abilities

If someone works 60 hours or more a week as a medical specialist at a hospital, they may have the financial resources and credit necessary to refinance. However, they may not have the necessary time to maintain the home without support. Demanding careers may make it all but impossible for someone to handle every aspect of home maintenance on their own. Someone’s health and even their custody arrangements can also influence whether or not they will be able to dedicate enough time and effort toward cleaning and lawn care to keep the home in proper condition.

It can be difficult to admit that giving up one’s home might be the best option, but that is the reality for many people who are preparing for divorce in California. Seeking legal guidance and taking an honest look at one’s finances and availability can inspire truly achievable property division goals concerning an upcoming California divorce.