There’s a lot at stake in a divorce. While you might struggle with the emotional aspect of untangling your life from your spouse, you also face the very real possibility of redefining your relationship with your children and reshaping your financial standing. These prospects can be overwhelming, but you shouldn’t let that paralyze you into inaction. Instead, you and your attorney need to be diligent about assessing what you want for the future, gathering evidence, and then developing legal arguments that position you well for settlement negotiations.
Following this process may be especially valuable when it comes to addressing the family home. Oftentimes there is a lot of sentimental value tied up in the residence, but you need to carefully consider whether fighting for it is truly in your best interest. Here are some of your options:
- Sell the home to your spouse: Whether you’re accepting cash or other marital assets in exchange for the house, this option can provide you with a financial boost as you move forward into the next chapter of your life. Just make sure you’re clear on the value of all assets in play here so that you’re not being taken advantage of.
- Buy the home: This is the reverse of option 1, so you’ll need to determine which assets to give up or figure out how to come up with enough money to buy out your spouse. If this option sounds appealing, just keep in mind that you’ll be solely responsible for the mortgage and maintenance of the home, which might be challenging if you’re losing your spouse’s income.
- Co-own the home: It might sound strange, but by continuing to co-own the home with your spouse you can continue to build equity, share maintenance costs, and, if necessary, weather a bad housing market until prices rebound. It can also provide your children with some stability.
- Sell the home to someone else: By selling the home to a third-party, you can escape a burdensome mortgage and maintenance costs while pocketing some equity. It can also help you separate yourself from your spouse, which has some emotional value as you seek a new start.
There’s no one right answer to what you should do with your family home. It’s a matter of preference and what is most important to you. If you want help analyzing your circumstances and developing a legal plan that suits your needs, then you might want to speak to an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of matters.