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Who gets to keep the house in a North Carolina divorce?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2022 | Divorce |

You and your spouse may have saved for several years to put together a downpayment on your house. You may have spent weekends replacing the old plaster walls with more modern drywall or otherwise upgrading the property to generate sweat equity.

You will likely have spent a significant portion of your income paying your mortgage every month and fixing up the property over the years. It is only natural to worry about losing those investments if you file for divorce. When you understand the property division rules that govern North Carolina divorces, you will have a better time understanding who will probably keep the house in your divorce.

Keeping your home is not a winner-take-all competition

It is true that only one of you will live at the house after the divorce unless you agree to relatively unusual arrangements, like a birdnesting custody arrangement. Otherwise, one spouse will stay at the house and the other will find a new place to live.

Regardless of whether you want to stay in the house or not, you need to understand that it is not an all-or-nothing situation. The equitable property division rules that apply to your marital estate in North Carolina require that you fairly split your property.

Splitting the house after a divorce will often require that one spouse refinances the property and pays the other an appropriate share of the equity. If you have valuable assets other than the house, withdrawing equity may not be necessary to compensate the spouse who does not keep the marital home. Regardless of the details of the actual property division settlement, both spouses should receive their fair share of the equity in the home.

Is keeping the house the right choice?

It can be hard to determine whether or not asking for the house would be the best option. You need to look at whether you will qualify to refinance the property, whether you can maintain it on your own and whether it would benefit your plans for the future and mental health to stay in the same home where you lived while you were married.

Thinking critically about property division goals for your upcoming North Carolina divorce can help you set yourself up for a happier future.