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Division of assets: Want to buy the marital home?

When Pennsylvania couples divorce, they have many things to think about. The division of assets is often a primary concern. In many cases, one of the spouses will want to hold onto the marital home after a divorce. This means that the spouse will have to buy out the other. This can be a complicated process, but fortunately, there are ways to make the process smoother.

First of all, the home needs to be appraised. This is so the value can be determined, and the spouse's buyout can be calculated. Once the spouse understands how much he or she will need to remain in the home, that person will need to refinance. This is to remove the other spouse from the mortgage. Generally, a person can finance up to 95 percent of the home. That means that the person must come up with the other 5 percent on his or her own, or the home could be put up for sale.

Try not to drag out the divorce. A lender may not approve someone for a mortgage until the divorce is finalized. Another tip is to stay on top of the bills. You might be tempted to stop paying joint bills in spite, but that will hurt your credit when it comes time to apply for the mortgage. In addition, close joint bank accounts and review your credit report for errors.

Many couples argue over the home because it has a lot of sentimental value. However, holding onto it means extra legwork that can turn into an ordeal during an already-emotional divorce case. You might want to consider whether it would be better to start a new life in a new home.

Source:, "Planning a divorce?" April Dunn, May. 24, 2014

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