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Steps for deciding who can keep the house in a divorce

When a couple begins to go through a divorce, they can sometimes have difficulty deciding who gets to keep certain assets. The most typically contested asset in a divorce is the marital home. Naturally, this brings about some financial complications, but the situation may not be as complicated for Colorado residents as it first seems.

Typically, when one spouse wishes to keep the house, the other will no longer want his or her name on the mortgage. Refinancing the mortgage may be the easiest option, but sometimes that option is not available. The spouse's income on his or her own could inhibit this process, and that person's credit score could hold them back from qualifying for a mortgage in their name alone as well. The parties may also wish to consider life after divorce and whether the person who may initially want the house will be able to afford it in the years to come.

Regardless of the financial situation, separating spouses would do well to follow three steps when considering who will keep the house. First, if the spouses are deciding to refinance, then make sure to double check the title transfer in order to avoid unnecessary delays in the process. Another step would be to pre-approve the credit of the spouse who wants to retain the home.

Lastly, and arguably the most important, find a professional to help through the entire divorce process. The legal and financial aspects of divorce can be extremely complicated for those treading in unfamiliar territory. Thankfully, Colorado professionals are available to provide guidance along each step of the way as the parties seek a resolution of all outstanding financial issues.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "In a Divorce, How One Spouse Can Keep the House", Anya Martin, Nov. 5, 2014

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