My wife and I are both on the title of our marital home. We are considering divorce and at this time neither of us has the money to buy the other one out.
Can we keep the home and stay as co-owners or will we be forced to sell the property? Is it possible that we can both remain on title despite the divorce?
You can retain both of your names on your home, even after divorce. But before agreeing to do so, you should consider the possible consequences for doing so.
Keeping the home in both names could backfire in the future. Any person or company that gets a money judgment against either of you in the future can place a lien on that person’s interest in the home and force a sale of the home to pay the lien.
In addition to the names on the title of the home, you should also be aware of whose name is on the mortgage of the home. If both names are on the mortgage, both parties are responsible for payments. This means that if your wife lives in the home and does not make the mortgage payments, you could end up being responsible for them. Missing mortgage payments can also negatively affect your credit score, even if you are no longer living in the home.
You also have to consider that if you keep the home in both of your names, you are going to be tied to the home and your ex until you both agree to sell the home. This could effect your ability to move on after your divorce, or relocate, and could be a source of future conflict.
You should consult with an attorney for options other than keeping the home in both of your names to help protect your money, your credit score, and your ownership interest in your home.
Although I practice law in Michigan, I cannot give you legal advice without thoroughly reviewing your case. Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact a managed divorce attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell does represent clients in Michigan.
Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.