Dividing marital property during a divorce can be an extremely complex and frustrating process. Occasionally, divorcing spouses make it through this process agreeing to maintain joint ownership of certain assets after the marriage ends. Joint ownership of property after divorce can be applied to the marital home as well. For whatever reason divorcing spouses choose to maintain joint ownership of their home, there are a few important aspects to keep in mind.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your divorce, you may still trust your ex-spouse. If you do, then sharing a liability as large as a mortgage with them may not actually be that risky. The key to making this situation work is to address all related and potential concerns before the decision is finalized.
One of the first things to be addressed when maintaining joint ownership of a home after divorce should be who will occupy it. It is not likely that you and your ex will live together after divorce, and unless you decide to use the home as a rental, you must determine which one of you will take up residency. Regardless of who will use the property, occupancy of the marital home should be one of the first things discussed.
Owning a home is a financial decision, and discussing who will pay the mortgage and cover other expenses, including taxes, should be a priority. Even if the marital home is to be used as rental property, you and your ex should agree on which one of you is responsible for maintenance, property taxes and other related expenses. As a financial obligation and large liability, an agreement on how the home and its proceeds will be handled when it is eventually sold should also be discussed prior to reaffirming ownership.
Maintaining joint ownership of a home after divorce is a big decision. It creates a financial obligation and liability between two individuals and should be handled wisely. By working with an experienced attorney, divorcing spouses may be able to reach an effective agreement for joint ownership that is in both spouses best interests.