Divorce is certainly an emotional endeavor, but you have to be careful to not let that affect your decision-making during the dissolution process. Doing so can lead to bad outcomes that can affect you for years or even decades to come. That’s why when you’re dealing with family law matters, such as property division, you really need to take a step back, evaluate the situation, and come up with a strategy that works for you. One area where this is especially beneficial is when dealing with the family home.
What should you do with the family residence?
This is an important question. You might have a lot of memories tied up in your home, and depending on how much equity you’ve built up it might be your biggest marital asset. So is fighting for the home the best option for you? Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s look at all of your options.
- Buy from or sell to your spouse: This is a pure cash transaction that requires one party to come up with a lot of money up front. Be mindful of that cost and the fact that if you’re fighting for the home, then you’re going to be stuck paying for the mortgage and upkeep on your own without help from your spouse’s income.
- Negotiate for other assets: Similar to the first option above, here you and your spouse can utilize other marital assets to offset the value of the house. If you want to keep the home, then be careful about which assets you’re giving up. Some of them, like retirement accounts, might actually be worth more in the long run.
- Sell to a third-party: This option gives you a clean break from your spouse, alleviates the financial obligation of the home, and gives you some cash to start out your post-divorce life. That’s why this is a popular option.
- Continue to co-own: Co-owning a piece of property with a former spouse can be challenging, but there may be some benefits, too. You can continue to build equity and maybe even turn the home into an income property. You can share costs with your ex-spouse and, depending on the circumstances, maybe provide some stability to your children. Just remember that you’re probably going to have to live somewhere else, so this option might increase your living expenses significantly.
Be thorough in addressing your divorce
A lot of people just want their divorce over with as quickly as possible. This is understandable, but rushing things through can lead to missteps that have powerful ramifications. Therefore, if you’re heading for divorce and are concerned about property division issues, then it might be time to discuss your concerns with an experienced attorney.