There are many issues that must be resolved when handling a divorce case in Michigan. One issue that is often very difficult for the parties is how to handle the marital home. The value in the marital home is often one of the biggest assets that a married couple may have. In addition, there are often sentimental issues involved. One party may feel that they were the spouse that contributed most to the acquisition or development of the property or one party will want to keep the home to provide continuity for the children and keep them in the same school district.
Do I Have to Sell The Marital Home?
The short answer in most cases is no. This issue often comes up in divorce cases here in Oakland County, there are many desirable areas that people become attached to. Many people want their children to finish out their school days in the particular school or district where the house is. In such cases, one party will typically "buy out" the other person's equity in the home. This is a pretty straight forward equation in Michigan. The courts will take the appraised value and subtract all loans associated with the property, including mortgages, home equity lines of credit, tax liens, etc., to determine the equity. Then whomever is keeping the home owes the other spouse half of that equity.
Typically, the court will not include a real estate agent's commission when determining the equity in the home. The divorce courts in Michigan have consistently held that unless a sale is imminent, it is improper to include a hypothetical commission because it is too speculative and should not be included in the analysis. This means that the person who keeps the home will eventually be responsible for the entire commission on the home when he or she sells it. This is in some ways a windfall to the spouse that does not keep the house and the spouse who keeps the home is paying a premium on the property in the form of the whole commission rather than half of the commission.
Contact a Michigan Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are considering filing divorce or are worried that your spouse may be planning to file for divorce, it is always a good idea to at least consult with an attorney. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices at North Oakland Michigan Divorce Lawyer to schedule a consultation.