What are my options when it comes to the family home?

The way that your marital assets are divided in your divorce can set the stage for your financial wellbeing for years, perhaps even decades, to come. With that in mind, you need to be careful in how you approach negotiations and litigation related to property division. In many instances, individuals let emotional attachments cloud their judgment and affect their long-term financial health.

Know what to do with the family home

One area where this issue can arise is when disposing of the family home. You might have spent years remodeling the residence to turn it into everything you wanted, and you’ve probably got a lot of lovely memories of your children growing up there. As a result, you might want to fight to keep the home. Or you might just want to keep the home because you think it’ll provide you with an extra layer of stability. But before you take that stance, you might want to consider your options.

  • Buy from or sell to your spouse: One option is to simply buy the house from your spouse or sell it to him or her. This can be a costly option for the buyer considering that he or she will have to come up with some extra case, but for the selling spouse it can provide a nice influx of cash to start their new post-divorce life.

  • Barter: Another option is to trade other marital assets for the home. Here you’ll want to be careful, recognizing the true value of the assets in play. Retirement accounts, for example, might appreciate in value much more the home will. Also, and this is true with all options where you keep the home, you’ll want to remember that you’re now going to be solely responsible for the mortgage and upkeep.

  • Sell to a third-party: This is a popular option because it gives you a clean break from your spouse while allowing you to obtain some financial resources that you might need to start your new life.

  • Co-own: This is a less commonly utilized option, but you can continue to co-own the home with your spouse. This can allow you to build equity and provide some stability to your children, or you might be able to turn it into an income property. Just keep in mind that you’ll still have to find another place to live and you’ll still be tied to your spouse, at least in some sense.

Obtain guidance during your property division

Property division can be complex and confusing. But as much as you probably want to get the process over with, you need to take the time to develop the strategy that works best for you. Skilled divorce attorneys like those at our law firm stand ready to assist in that endeavor.


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