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Dividing home equity when a marriage ends

Married couples in Indiana who choose to get divorced will likely need to figure out what to do about the marital home. The first step in making a decision is determining how much the home is worth. That can be done by getting an appraisal, and each spouse should get their own appraisal to ensure that it is done in an accurate manner. Once the home's value has been determined, a couple can choose how to split the equity.

One common method of doing so is to sell the home and split the proceeds. If one person wants to keep the home, the loan can be refinanced to take the other spouse off it. During the refinance process, equity can be pulled out of the home and split with the person who is leaving. The final option is to share the property until it makes more sense to sell or refinance.

Selling the home is generally the easiest way for former spouses to fully walk away from each other. It can also be preferable to refinancing since whoever would take over the home would need to qualify on his or her income alone. If couples don't want to split equity in a home, they can liquidate other assets instead. This can help ensure that each person receives an equitable share of marital property.

In a divorce, a home, retirement account or other assets could be eligible for division. Generally speaking, the goal is to make sure that each party obtains what he or she needs to live after the marriage ends. An attorney may work to help an individual obtain as large a share of marital property as possible. If a prenuptial agreement exists, its terms will largely determine how property is divided in the final settlement.

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