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If you have divorce questions

What happens to the marital home after a divorce?

In Georgia, marital assets are subject to equitable division in a divorce action. The martial home is an asset subject to equitable division, but deciding who will retain the home after the divorce is often not as simple as deciding how to divide a bank account or furniture.

Sometimes, neither party wants to keep the house. In that case, the house should be sold with the proceeds divided equitably between the parties. This may be easier said than done, as the parties must agree upon a list price, use of an agent and final sale price, but the end result will be the same. In addition, if the house is going to be sold, the parties must agree upon who will live in the house until it sells and who will pay the associated bills such as mortgage, insurance and utilities.

If one party wants to keep the house, he/she must determine whether he/she can afford to do so. This determination includes the ability to pay the mortgage, insurance and associated bills on his/her own, as well as the ability to buy out the other party. If the party cannot afford to keep the house, regardless of his/her desire to do so, it must be sold. (See above.)

If the party desiring to keep the house can afford to do so, the parties must then agree on the value of the home so that the party keeping the house can buy out the other party. The best way to determine value is by obtaining a professional appraisal on the house. The parties may agree on an appraiser, or each may obtain their own appraisal. If the parties still cannot agree on the house value after obtaining an appraisal, the court will have to take up the issue at the divorce trial.

See here for a flowchart illustrating this process. Every case is different so, if dividing a marital home is an issue in your divorce action, I recommend consulting with an experienced divorce attorney for advice on the most effective way to do so in your specific case.

Categories:

Equitable Division
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