When a couple divorces in Pennsylvania, a common concern is what will happen to the family home. It is often the case that a house or condominium is the most valuable asset the couple owns. In addition, homes can have sentimental significance, creating a potential source of conflict between the spouses.
While it is not unusual for spouses to want to keep the marital home, this can sometimes be problematic. Unless either spouse has cash reserves that allow him or her to purchase the other spouse's share in the home, it can be difficult to manage the equitable division of the home's value.
In addition, the spouse who wants to remain in the home may have to consider whether he or she can afford upkeep and maintenance on one income. An existing mortgage will further complicate matters as the spouse remaining in the home will have to obtain a mortgage in their own name. Given that divorce may, albeit temporarily, damage one's finances and even credit, getting a new mortgage with favorable terms may be a challenge.
There is also the issue of determining the home's value. In some cases, it may be appropriate to bring in an appraiser and a mortgage specialist who can offer solid data on the home's value, making it easier for lawyers and judges to resolve property division issues.
Homeowners who are considering divorce may benefit from speaking with an experienced divorce attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client's case, including the value of jointly owned real estate. From there, the lawyer may be able to advise his or her client on the best course of action regarding keeping, or selling, the family home.