Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law
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Deciding who gets the house in a divorce

Arguments over matters like child custody and spousal support can quickly become heated during a divorce, but South Carolina couples are often able to put their animosities to one side when the subject being discussed is the future of the family home. The primary residence is usually the most valuable marital asset, and it may be prudent to sell the property and divide any proceeds between the spouses.

Family court judges may choose to take this path when spouses are unable to reach an amicable divorce settlement, but these decisions can be difficult when the couple involved have young children. The best interests of the children involved is the primary concern in these types of cases, and judges may be swayed by research showing that the upheaval and psychological trauma of the divorce process can leave vulnerable children with emotional scars that never completely heal.

In some situations, spouses may claim that the primary residence is separate property and should not be divided. Assets owned prior to a marriage are generally considered to be separate and not subject to division, but they may become commingled if marital funds are used to pay for their upkeep and repair. People who wish to continue living in the marital home may trade assets such as artwork or investments for their partner's share, or they could simply take out a loan and buy them out.

Experienced family law attorneys may recommend that any outstanding mortgages be refinanced when their clients accept cash or assets in return giving up their claim to the family home. While divorce settlements are legally binding documents, they do not change the provisions of mortgages or home equity lines of credit and lenders will generally pay them little heed when loans are in default and collection efforts have begun.

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Aaron & Aaron
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