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Divorce and the marital home

Figuring out what to do with the marital home is one of the biggest obstacles preventing couples from divorcing and moving on. It is a significant asset, though, and not always a positive one. Thankfully, Missouri residents who are going through the divorce process actually have quite a few options when it comes to dealing with their marital homes.

A woman recently asked for some advice regarding her marital home situation. She and her ex have been divorced for 8 years now. As part of the divorce settlement, he was allowed to remain in the house for one year. He has yet to move out and is now unable to make mortgage payments due to job loss. She wants to know if paying off the mortgage will remove her from any further responsibility she has for the house, as she is just ready to walk away.

Paying off the mortgage can keep lenders from calling and asking for payments. It does not solve any insurance issues or remove one from property tax responsibility. To end one's obligation for these things, a quitclaim deed is necessary. This can remove one's name from the title, which in turn removes one's name from the property record. Then, of course, insurance can be cancelled so the party remaining in the house can get his own.

While paying off the mortgage and just walking away is one option, it is also possible to force a sale on the other party. That way, both can split the proceeds and walk away with their fair share. At the end of the day, though, it is up to each party and what he or she feels is best. An experienced divorce attorney can help those in Missouri as they work out settlement terms regarding their marital homes. If one party fails to follow through with said terms, further assistance can be provided to get things moving.

Source: The Washington Post, "What to do about the house when you divorce", Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin, Dec. 13, 2017

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