The equitable distribution rules in North Carolina create a legal standard for your shared marital property. A judge will have to fairly assign certain property and debts to you and others to your ex. Any property that you have not already designated to one spouse or the other in a written agreement is vulnerable during property division proceedings in your North Carolina divorce.
If you purchased a home during the marriage, you may have to reach an agreement about what to do with your house at the end of your marriage. Otherwise, you must negotiate who will live there as part of your divorce.
Although your first instinct may be to ask for the home in your divorce, you could quickly find yourself overextended by solo property ownership if you don’t consider the situation carefully.
Are your finances ready?
Although you and your ex were able to afford the home, can you pay the mortgage with just your current income? More importantly, do you have additional wiggle room in your budget beyond your current mortgage payment?
Realistically speaking, the interest rate when you refinance the property now will likely be higher than the rate you have on your current mortgage because rates have gone up in recent months and lower-income applicants often pay more for the same loan. If you also have to withdraw equity to compensate your spouse, you might have substantially higher monthly payments after the divorce than you have to make now.
Are you personally ready?
Solo homeownership is substantially different from owning a property when you have a spouse. There won’t be someone else to take care of the lawn or carry out the trash. Every single home maintenance chore will be your responsibility.
Additionally, your income will need to cover any maintenance and repair costs that crop up after your ex permanently leaves. The responsibilities of maintaining an entire house without a spouse can overwhelm even the most organized adults.
If you look at the circumstances honestly and you believe that you can afford the property and have the time and resources to maintain it, then seeking to retain possession in the divorce may be a reasonable goal. Learning more about the North Carolina approach to property division can help you set achievable goals in your upcoming divorce.