Divorce comes with a myriad of decisions. One such decision at the top of the list is often the fate of the family home. A house is usually the largest asset owned by couples. Therefore, it can be a real point of contention among divorcing couples.
It is important to consider all the options together as one last act of cooperation. Emotional attachments sometimes mean that both couples are intent on keeping the family home. Conversely, sometimes both spouses want to get as far away as possible from the family home and memories that it contains.
Three possible solutions for the family home
The fate of the family home in a divorce depends on the intentions of each partner. Sometimes these desires are mutual, and other times they are contrary. Here are three common solutions to the family home in a divorce:
- Sell and split the proceeds: Sometimes a family home holds so many memories that neither partner desires to keep the home. In many situations, the most equitable solution is to put the home on the market and try to get the best possible price. This option offers a finality that is often comforting to both parties involved.
- One spouse buys out the other: This is an option when one partner has no interest in keeping the family home, and the other partner is intent on keeping it. One spouse can sell his or her interest in the home to the other spouse. This option requires a bit of negotiating to determine a fair selling price.
- Share ownership for a while: When a full buyout is not a financially viable option, co-ownership may be a solution. The terms and conditions need to be clearly defined to avoid further conflict or misunderstanding. This doesn’t mean that both parties continue to live in the house. Sometimes, the home can be turned into a rental property and the equity and income belong to both parties.
Depending on the particulars of the divorce and the desire of each party involved, one of the above options may be exactly what is needed.
It is always beneficial to invest time in research and investigation to have a clearer picture of who gets to keep the family home in a divorce. This process can benefit greatly from sound legal counsel that is experienced and knowledgeable of state laws concerning family law and property division.