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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3389
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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I am going to file for divorce but trying to have my ducks

Customer Question

I am going to file for divorce but trying to have my ducks in a row first. I think the only problem will be the house. I am in West Virginia. The house is being purchased on land contract and is in both our names. I'm wondering whether to try to settle something beforehand or wait and see what a judge would say. With it being on land contract, I just don't know.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 10 months ago.

texlawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

texlawyer :

All else being equal, you are entitled to half of the equity built in the home during the course of the marriage.

texlawyer :

As far as whether it is better to work something out or let the judge decide, there are many factors that go into that decision, most importantly, what other assets exist and are being negotiated. Also, child custody plays a large role.

texlawyer :

That said, reaching an agreement will typically save you money in attorney's fees. Even if you hire an attorney, reaching an agreed settlement will mean the attorney will have to do less work preparing for a trial, which will save you thousands of dollars.

Customer:

Good evening. There are no children involved and nothing as far as assets that would be an issue. I'm just not sure what will happen because we are not the owners, as such.

texlawyer :

You may not be owners, but there is still equity in the home. One person does not just get to walk away with all that equity. The judge will likely order one spouse to pay the other spouse the value of that equity, or take it out of some other part of the settlement.

Customer:

So with me being the one who is willing to leave, you think a judge would allow my name to be taken off of the house and order her to pay me some of what has been paid on it?

texlawyer :

Yes. Typically, the judge will award one spouse the home and has to pay the other spouse the value of half of the equity built in the home.

texlawyer :

Each party is entitled to half of what is acquired during the course of the marriage. That includes equity in the home. As such, you each are entitled to half of the equity. You get your half in cash, and she gets to keep the home.

texlawyer :

If that is agreeable to both of you, it may be a good idea to reach an agreed settlement.

Customer:

And the owner would have no choice but to comply with me not having any further obligations as far as the house?

texlawyer :

If that is the agreement or what the judge orders, yes.

texlawyer :

I think that would be a reasonable outcome, though.

Customer:

OK, because I was afraid he might be able to cause problems with that.

texlawyer :

You are in a good position, but it often ends up in the hands of a judge if there isn't an agreement between the spouses.

Customer:

Well, that sounds good. I guess it's up to me to get the ball rolling! Thank you for your time! I will be giving you a high rating!

texlawyer :

Glad to help!

texlawyer :

If there isn't anything else I can do for you, please remember to "rate" my answer. Good luck.

Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3389
Experience: I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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