Divorce can mean a long, drawn out dispute between two spouses. However, more commonly, parties are able to come to an agreement about some or even all of the issues before having to go to a contested hearing before a judge. An uncontested divorce can be an excellent way to craft an agreement that has special solutions that you and your spouse believe are best for your family and your particular situation. In your uncontested divorce, you will have to make an agreement with your spouse about how all of your assets will be divided. Dividing your real estate in an uncontested divorce is an important element of your settlement.
For the majority of people, the real estate that needs to be divided will be the marital residence. The first step is often to determine whether you or your spouse wants to actually retain the residence. If you and your spouse can agree who will keep the house, the retaining spouse needs to make sure that he or she can actually afford the mortgage without financial help from the other spouse. A related issue is which spouse is named on the mortgage. If both spouses are on the mortgage or the spouse who is not keeping the house is the only one on the mortgage, the parties will need to carefully discuss what is to be done about the mortgage. The spouse who is not remaining in the home needs to understand that even if the agreement states that the remaining spouse will be responsible for the mortgage payments, that agreement does not bind the mortgage company. In other words, if the remaining spouse falls behind on payments, the mortgage company can and will come after anyone still named on the mortgage. Accordingly, the other spouse may want to discuss requiring the remaining spouse to refinance the house as soon as possible.
Spouses also need to discuss the division of the equity in the home. One way to solve this is to include in the uncontested divorce agreement that the home will be sold and the profits split. Another way is that one spouse will receive another large asset undivided (such as a retirement or investment account) and the remaining spouse will receive all of the equity in the home.
If you have questions about your real estate and your uncontested divorce, contact us today. Call us at (320) 299-4249 to talk about your case and your goals.