Division of homes and loans in divorce: What a woman should know

There is no legal provision for division of property at the time of divorce. So unless the divorce is contested, it is better to decide on the split by considering the following possibilities.

If it is husband’s ancestral or self-acquired property…

A woman has no right over such property and can stake a claim if she is a joint owner or has contributed in its purchase and can prove it.

If wife & husband are joint owners and loan co-applicants…

  • Both can sell the house and divide the amount equally after repayment of loan.
  • One partner can get the loan transferred in his/her name and is then responsible for repaying the loan. He/she can settle the other person’s contribution and have the title transferred to his/her name. In such a case, one must also take into account the stamp duty and registration cost.
  • If one partner stops paying the EMI, the responsibility of repaying the loan will lie with the other partner. In such a case, the loan can be refi nanced and ownership transferred to the person paying the loan after settling the other partner’s share.

If wife or husband is sole applicant and owner…

In such a case, the house belongs to the owner and the responsibility of repaying the loan lies with the partner who has taken it.

If husband has taken the loan, but title is in wife’s name…

  • The wife will be considered the legal owner, but if the husband can prove he paid the loan for the house, he can stake a claim to it.
  • If the wife did not contribute to the house’s purchase, she cannot stake a claim to the house.
  • The non-applicant wife can get the loan transferred in her name and take the ownership of the house, but after settling the amount paid by the husband.
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