For many Georgia couples, their home is their greatest asset. It is the place that contains the majority of their assets and that is worth more than any other asset that they have. While a couple's home differs from other assets because of its immense worth, it is treated the same as other assets if a couple decides to divorce, in that it must be divided during the divorce proceedings.
There are many different ways to divide the marital home. The couple can choose to sell the home and split the proceeds. If the house does not have any equity, however, the couple would have to split the loss.
Alternatively, one person could choose to stay in the home following the divorce. In this case, the person staying in the house would need to give the other spouse his or her share of the equity. This could be done in a couple of ways. One, the spouse who is not staying in the house could take a larger share of the parties' other assets in order to account for the equity that the spouse staying in the house will receive. On the other hand, the spouse staying in the house could refinance the mortgage and use some of the house's current equity to buy out the other spouse's portion.
Whichever way the couple chooses to split the equity, it is important for the party who is not staying in the house to make sure that that other party's name is removed from the loan. If that spouse's name is not removed -- either through a quitclaim deed or through the refinancing process -- that spouse could face legal and financial trouble in the future if, for example, the other spouse stopped paying the mortgage.
During a divorce, property division issues, such as what to do with the house, can be complex. People need to make sure that they know their legal options and how those choices can affect their financial futures.
Source: Fox Business, "How to Divide Your House in a Divorce," July 14, 2014