Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates


For divorcing spouses in California, a family home can be one of the biggest assets to address during negotiations. A home also elicits a great deal of emotion as much of a couple's life together is associated with their house, especially if they have raised children together there. There are three primary choices for a house during a divorce.

As Forbes explained, one spouse can buy the other person out of the home, the couple can opt to maintain joint ownership or the couple can sell the house and determine how to split the proceeds.

There are many reasons why so many houses are sold during a marital divorce and one of these may be the fact that obtaining a new mortgage as a single person can be a challenge for many newly divorced people. explains that due to a drop in credit score and generally a drop in income, some spouses are unable to get the home loan they need. They may also be unable to come up with the money needed to buy their spouse out of the home.

If one spouse signs over ownership of the home but allows the joint mortgage to remain intact, they are setting themselves up for potential financial problems as the lender may still identify them as financially responsible for the mortgage payments. Maintaining joint ownership of a home requires a couple to work together in a way that is often not possible given that they were unable to collaborate sufficiently to keep their marriage together.

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  • SCBA | Santa Clara County Bar Association | EST 1917
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization | Stephen W. Penn
  • Henry P. Collada Memorial Award 2012