You and your spouse may share a home right now, but do you know what happens if you decide to get a divorce? Who will keep your home, and do you have any right to a share in your home’s value?
To determine who gets the house in a divorce, you first have to look at who is on the house’s mortgage and when it was purchased. If the home was purchased before you got married and is only in one person’s name, then that home is likely going to remain their separate property.
On the other hand, if the home was purchased before you got married but refinanced in both parties’ names after marriage, then the property may now be a shared marital property.
Similarly, if you both purchased the property during your marriage, then it will most likely be shared property.
Georgia is an equitable distribution state
Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which has an effect on how you divide the property. In an equitable distribution state, both parties are to receive an equitable portion of their shared property, not an equal portion.
How does that help with your home? You should know that you won’t be guaranteed 50% of its value if it’s shared property. Instead, you will be entitled to a portion of your assets valued at what is equitable. So, if you invested very little money or time into your relationship and assets, you could end up getting less. On the other hand, if you paid 50% of the mortgage, then you may successfully argue that you should receive half of the home’s value in divorce.
This doesn’t settle who actually keeps the home, though. For many people, selling and splitting the profits is the easiest way out. For others, one person will buy out the other person’s share by getting a new loan to keep the property in their name alone and paying the other person the money they’d be entitled to in a sale. Others may opt to give the property to the spouse who wants it in exchange for other assets. What you do will depend on the property’s condition, if you want to sell and other factors.