2nd Mar 2015
You may have contributed more than your spouse to the mortgages and other expenses associated with the home while your spouse was a wasteful spender. Your business may operate from your home or you may want to remain in it for the well-being of your children. A few options you have at the time of your divorce are as follows:
1. You can ask the Court to transfer title of the home to you. One of the things you will have to show in order to get the Court to award you all right, title and interest in the home, is that you can qualify to have the mortgage(s) on the home transferred from you and your spouse’s name into just your name thereby releasing him/her from the lien. The Court can’t award you a home that is titled in just your spouse’s name. Judges prefer to order a marital home sold versus transferring title to one of the parties.
2. You can ask the Court to allow you to purchase your spouse’s interest in the home. Again, in addition to other factors, you will need to prove to the Court that you will qualify to refinance the mortgage to remove your spouse’s name from the lien. It is important to have the home appraised so that the Court is aware of the value in determining the amount you will pay to purchase your spouse’s interest.
3. You can ask the Court to grant you use and possession of the family home for up to 3 years from the date of the divorce. The “family home” is defined as that which 1) was used as the principal residence when you lived with your spouse; 2) is owned or leased by you, your spouse or both of you; and 3) is being used or will be used as a principal residence by you and a child. Before the Court will award use and possession it must examine the best interests of the child(ren), the need or benefit to you and any hardship it may cause your spouse.
In determining how to divide or distribute marital property the Court will decide what is equitable (not equal) and consider the following factors:
“(1) the contributions, monetary and non[-] monetary, of each party to the well-being of the family; (2) the value of all property interests of each party; (3) the economic circumstances of each party at the time the award is to be made; (4) the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties; (5) the duration of the marriage; (6) the age of each party; (7) the physical and mental condition of each party; (8) how and when specific marital property or interest in the pension, retirement, profit sharing, or deferred compensation plan, was acquired …; (9) the contribution by either party of property described in [F.L.] § 8–201(e)(3) [ ] to the acquisition of real property held by the parties as tenants by the entirety;(10) any award of alimony and any award or other provision that the court has made with respect to family use personal property or the family home; and(11) any other factor the court considers necessary or appropriate to consider in order to arrive at a fair and equitable monetary award.” MD. Code, Fam. Law §8-205
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