In the state of Maryland, marital assets are divided in an equitable fashion. Therefore, you may have a claim to a portion of any positive equity in a principal residence that is part of your marital estate. There are several ways that you may be able to lay claim to your share of this asset.
You could obtain full ownership of the home
If you think it makes financial sense to do so, it may be possible to remove your spouse from the deed and mortgage to the home. This may be done by writing this person a check for the amount equivalent to his or her share of the home’s equity. For instance, if the house has $100,000 in equity, your former partner would be entitled to roughly $50,000 after the divorce. You would then have to qualify to refinance the mortgage in your own name.
The house will likely be sold
A home may be put on the market before, during or after the divorce proceedings. The proceeds from the sale are split between the two parties to the relationship as stipulated in the divorce settlement. This is often the preferable solution because it allows you to obtain a lump sum of cash that can be used to build a new life for yourself.
While you may have an emotional attachment to a family home, it’s not necessarily in your best interest to keep it after a divorce. Instead, it may be best to use the money obtained from the sale of the house to create an emergency fund or to cover the cost of living as a single individual.