If you're in the process of a divorce and you have a marital home that needs to be dealt with, take steps to avoid costly mistakes. The transfer of the marital home can be one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce settlement. Here are four steps you need to take if you have a marital home that will need to be transferred.
Work with Your Attorney
If you own a home and you were planning to handle the divorce on your own, you need to rethink that decision. There may be times when handling a divorce is a simple process. However, when the division of a house is concerned, you need to work with an attorney. Making a mistake with the division of a house can have lasting repercussions for you and your ex. An attorney will make sure that those mistakes are avoided, and that the division is handled properly.
Begin the Transfer Process Early
If you've decided to sign the marital home over to your ex, be sure to begin the transfer process as early as possible. Waiting until the last minute can delay the transfer. In fact, in some situations, delays can stop the transfer altogether. This is particularly when issues of employment or credit history are concerned. If your ex doesn't have enough work history or their credit score is too low to obtain an approval for a stand-alone mortgage of their own, you'll need time to work through those issues.
Don't Make Mistakes with the Final Paperwork
If you're going through a divorce and are working to divide the marital house, you want to avoid making mistakes with the final paperwork. If your ex will be maintaining possession of the house, you need to go beyond the refinancing of the loan. If both of your names are on the deed to the house, it's important that you remove your name from the deed, as well as from the home loan. If you remove your name from the loan but leave it on the deed, you may still be legally liable for the home, especially where taxes and liens are concerned.
Look for Another Lender When Overlays Are Required
If you'll be transferring ownership of the marital house to your spouse, you want to watch for overlays. In some cases, lenders will require you to provide a final divorce decree before they'll proceed with the refinancing. However, if you wait to transfer ownership of your home until the divorce is final, you're still legally responsible for the home. To make sure you're able to sever financial and legal responsibility of the home before the final divorce decree is obtained, work with a lender that doesn't require an overlay.
For more information, contact a divorce attorney.