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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I am living in the family home, and I am getting a divorce.

Resolved Question:

I am living in the family home, and I am getting a divorce. My husband and I are both on the title as well two mortgages. I have obtained a certified appraisal and I am awaiting my husband to do the same. Once we have both appraisal's we will average the two and consider that the value of the home.

Currently we owe $200,000 for both our first and second mortgages.

For me the best case scenario is to have our home appraise low, which it has, coming in at $210,000. Two local realtors have confirmed this for me as well. With a low appraisal I can afford to pay the $5000 in equity husband, but no more.

In my husband's case he's hoping the appraisal will be much higher and will do all he can to make that happen. I know appraisal adjusters can't be "bought" but he will try to get the house as high as he can.

Say, for example he some how manages to get an appraisal for $240,000. The average of the two then becomes: $225,000. If we agree the home is valued at this amount, not having enough cash to pay out the $12,500 I would have to sell the home in order to get the equity out to pay him. Working with the $225,000 and agreeing not to take a penny less, my questions are as follows:

I am trying to understand what could happen to me if the home was put up for sale, and didn't sell for a long period (a year or more) of time. Who is responsible to pay for what prior to the home being sold - according to what a judge might rule.

1. If I stay in the home and continue to make both mortgage payments, is my husband required to pay half of each all the time while we're trying to sell the home, even though he is living in a separate residence?

2. If he's not required to pay half or each mortgage, then how is equity divided later down the line when I've been paying both, on my own for say, one, two or more years

3. Because realtors tell me that $225,000 is basically unobtainable now and may be that way for another few years, as repairs or improvements are needed on the home, will it be possible to require my husband to pay for half of any repair or improvement?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

1. If the judge orders you to sell the house and split the equity, he can also order your husband to pay half of the mortgage payments during the time while you are attempting to sell the property.

2. If the judge didn't order your husband to pay half the mortgage while the house is on the market, you can ask the judge to award you the entire difference between the sale price and the appraisal price.

3. There are two ways to handle this - since the two of you will be spitting the equity equally, if he can afford it, the judge will order you each to pay half of the repairs or improvements that are deemed necessary to sell the house. Alternatively, he can order that you pay for the repairs and maintenance, but, when the house sells, you be allowed to deduct half of what you spent from your husband's share of the equity. The first option is far more likely, unless one of you absolutely cannot afford to contribute to the repairs and maintenance at all.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20078
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
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