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Keeping the marital home in a divorce

Maryland couples who are going through a divorce may be concerned about what marital property they may get to keep when the divorce is finalized. One of the main goals for many is the family home, especially if there are children involved. While the decision to try and retain ownership of the home is often made for emotional reasons, those wanting the home should step back and determine if this is a financially sound decision.

In many cases, the family home is the single biggest asset that must be dealt with during a divorce. If a person wants to retain ownership of the home, it is likely that he or she will have to buy out the former spouse's portion of the home or allow the former spouse to take ownership of other assets, such as a family car.

There are also financial hurdles that must be dealt with, including dealing with the existing mortgage. The person retaining ownership of the marital home will have to refinance the mortgage on his or her own. This means having a steady source of income and cash available to make a down payment. If a person will be receiving alimony payments, he or she may not be able to get a new mortgage until several payments have been made.

While spousal support and child support can be put towards mortgage payments on what was once a family home, keeping the home may mean allowing the spouse to retain ownership of other marital assets. Because negotiating a settlement can be difficult if the former couple cannot get along, a family law attorney may negotiate on behalf of a person with the other party. The attorney may also review divorce settlement offers to determine if they are fair or if further negotiation is needed.

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