Although divorce is an emotional endeavor, it is also a financial transaction. All too often individuals confuse the two, resulting in outcomes that are driven by emotions rather than their own financial interests. This is understandable considering the challenges associated with untangling two lives that at one time were probably inextricable woven together. But this is precisely why if you are considering divorce you may want to slow down, think things through, and consult with an outside advocate before moving forward with any important property division decisions.
One of those decisions is what to do with the family house. This asset can be viewed in a number of ways. Some see it as an asset with an extensive amount of equity, while others may view it as a liability that requires an extensive amount of upkeep. Some people have sentimental attachments to their home, too, which might cause them to fight for the home when it otherwise might not be in their best interests. Therefore, we’re briefly going to look at your options as they pertain to the family home so that you can prepare yourself to make the informed decision that is right for you.
- Barter with your spouse: Whether you want to keep the home or get rid of it, you can probably negotiate a resolution with your spouse by exchanging the home for other assets. Considering the value of the home, though, the party seeking to keep it might have to give up other significant assets like retirement accounts.
- Sell the home: Probably the most common approach utilized, simply selling the home can free you from an onerous mortgage and the potential for extensive repair costs that are made even more difficult to handle once you lose your spouse’s income. This option can also leave you with a little bit of money in your pocket to start your post-divorce life on a stronger financial footing.
- Keep it: You have the option to keep the home with your spouse, but things might get awkward. By keeping it, though, you can continue to build equity, maybe turn it into an income property, and/or provide some stability for your children.
These are your most basic options, but you can always get creative when it comes to property division. What is important is to remember that the decisions you make during this process can have tremendous financial implications later down the road. So be calm, be thorough, and secure the assistance you need to be confident.