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Michigan Family Law Blog

Sunday, May 31, 2020

What Happens With the Home in a Divorce in Michigan?

There are many issues that one may face when they have to get a divorce.  If there are children, the primary issue will be custody and parenting time and how child support works.  If there is a significant income gap, then alimony or spousal support as it is called in Michigan, will be a major issue.  One issue that comes up in almost all divorce cases is what do we do with the marital home?

The Three Basic Options for the Marital Home in a Divorce

There are basically three options.  The first option is to sell the home and divide any proceeds or share any deficiency/debt.  The proceeds will most likely be divided equally.  This is true regardless of whose name may be on the title or the mortgage.  If one party owned the home before the marriage, that party may be able to back out the premarital equity before dividing the proceeds depending on the length of the marriage and other factors.  For example if spouse a owned the home before the marriage and there was $100,000 in equity at the time of the marriage and there is $200,000 in proceeds from the sale, then spouse a may be entitled to $150,000 and spouse b only $50,000 as opposed to each party receiving $100,000.

The second option is for one spouse to buy out the other spouse's equity in the home.  In this scenario, if spouse c wants to keep the home and spouse d does not, then spouse c could essentially pay spouse d 50% of the equity in the home.  For instance if the home appraises for $300,000 and there is a $200,000 mortgage on the home, then spouse c would have to pay spouse d $50,000 for d's equity in the home.  Most often, spouse c would have to refinance the home to remove d's name from the mortgage and often a refinance is how spouse c would acquire the funds to pay off spouse d.

Finally, the parties may agree that one spouse will stay in the home for a period of time, then the parties sell the home and divide the proceeds or deficiency.  This most often happens in a case where the parties have children that they want to keep in the same school district for a few years until the child(ren) graduate.  There are several details that must be worked out in this scenario including when will the home be sold and how will the parties pay the bills until that time.

Contact Our Oakland County, Michigan Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce it is important to meet with an honest knowledgeable divorce lawyer for information and advice.  If you have questions about divorce, contact our Michigan divorce lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.


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