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The marital home is often at the center of a divorce proceeding in California. This huge asset can become a huge liability during a marital separation. A few tips, however, can help divorcing individuals who are dealing with property division to navigate the often complicated process in a way that is personally beneficial.

From a lender's point of view, two divorcing people have joint liability for their mortgage unless they sell the home, one of them takes over the mortgage on the home, or their property ends up being refinanced with brand new conditions and terms. Refinancing happens to be the most common way that couples handle mortgages during divorce. This is because one person would like to stay in the house and maintain sole title to the property.

It is important to note that when equity must be shared, sometimes mortgage programs do not consider the refinance to be a cash-out one. In addition, some programs permit higher ratios of loan to value and do not have penalties. This makes it easier for someone to qualify and get a lower interest rate when refinancing a property.

Divorce can understandably be a tough process for the couple involved, especially when property division is a source of conflict for them. If the two individuals find common ground in this area at the negotiation table, it can be easier for them to reach a divorce settlement that benefits them both. Proper legal guidance may help divorcing individuals to successfully claim their fair share of assets in California.

Source: sfgate.com, "Just Approved: Divorce doesn't have to mean the end of home ownership", Brenda Wyatt, May 1, 2015

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