In most case the most important marital asset is the marital residence. There are other assets, of course, such as retirement funds (typically 401(k)) and pensions, such as public employee and military pensions, but we will address those in subsequent blogs.
If the deed and mortgage to the marital residence are in the names of both parties, the parties have essentially two choices: one of the parties stays in the residence and refinances or assumes the mortgage so that the other party can quit-claim his/her interest to the “staying” party; and other is that the residence is sold and the net proceeds or loss divided.
There are many variations on these basic themes and it is best to consult a lawyer such as the author for a free consultation. For example, in the case where one party keeps the Residence, there may be a “buy out” of the “leaving” party to compensate him/her for some portion of the equity; another is to lengthen the time given to “staying” party to refinance or assume the mortgage.
I would add one piece of advice: never quit-claim the deed to the other party so long as you are liable for the mortgage.
More to come in subsequent blogs. Feel free to comment or write to me at The Hughes Law Firm — firstname.lastname@example.org.