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Can I keep my home in a Utah divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2022 | Divorce

Moving is one of the most stressful experiences many people go through. In fact, moving is considered one of the top three stressors in life, next to death and divorce.

Therefore, it is no surprise that one of your biggest priorities when going through a divorce might be to keep your home. Since you are already going through an emotionally and financially difficult time, keeping your home can provide you with a sense of stability.

As part of your divorce, you will divide marital property with your spouse. There is no law saying that a wife or husband always gets the home, but if you both want to keep the home, the court will look at different factors.

You must show you can pay for it

One of these factors is your financial circumstances. If the court rules that you keep your home, or if your spouse agrees to let you keep the home, it is your responsibility to pay for it.

This means you will be solely responsible for any mortgage payments, insurance and taxes. Additionally, since a home is usually the most valuable piece of marital property, you will likely need to pay a sum of money to your spouse to offset the value of the house you are receiving.

This can sometimes be done by taking out a second mortgage or other type of loan on the home to pay your spouse. If there is an original mortgage on the home, you must refinance it to take your spouse’s name off it.

Obtain a home valuation

Getting a correct value for your home while going through your divorce is extremely important. This will help ensure that any amount you pay your spouse to offset the home’s value is accurate.

You can offer your spouse additional assets

Under Utah law, your overall marital property division must be fair and equitable. This means that both you and your spouse should both leave the marriage with relatively the same amount of assets and debts.

If you do not qualify for a second mortgage or otherwise have no way to pay your spouse a cash equivalent for your home’s value, you can offer them other marital assets to make up for it.

For example, if both of you have vehicles and retirement accounts in addition to your home, you can offer your spouse your vehicle and retirement account in exchange for the home. This could result in a fair and equitable property division, while avoiding the need for you make a separate payout to your spouse.

Explore all options

As much as you might want to keep your home, sometimes it is not a viable option. If you cannot afford it on your income or resources alone, you may need to consider selling.

Before making that decision, it could help to speak to a divorce attorney who can discuss your options with you. Marital property division often involves creative and innovate solutions, and there might be one that works for your situation.