Keeping Family Home


My husband and I just recently separated due to infidelity on his part. I have 3 children, 20, 17 and 10 – all live at home and attend school. Given the state of the depreciation in the housing market, can we state in a settlement agreement that the house will remain in both our names for a period of five years but I would be responsible for payments? And that at the end of 5 years, we re-evaluate whether to refinance or sell. If we decide to sell, we would have an agreement that we would split the proceeds of the sale of the house. Refinance is not an option because there is not enough equity and I would like to keep the kids in their house instead of moving them and adding to their stress if at all possible. Thank you.


You are free to agree to any term of years that you wish. Just be aware though that if you are entering it as a Consent Order (or incorporating the SA into your divorce), a judge may have an issue with the time being so long. A lot of times they want a shorter time period than 5 years, usually say around 12 months. However, a judge may sign off on it anyway and it may not matter.