A lot of people who recognize that their marriages are coming to an end find themselves emotionally overwhelmed by the prospect of divorce. This is completely understandable. If you’re like most people, then you’ve spent years building a life together with your spouse. As a result, it’s enormously difficult to untangle your lives without feelings being hurt.
Yet, divorce is about much more then severing your emotional ties with your spouse. It’s also a very large financial transaction. This is because you’ll be required to divide you assets and your debts with your spouse in a way that is equitable, which means that division has to be fair. It does not have to be equal.
Deciding what’s fair can be quite an endeavor and often leads to conflict. This is especially true because many people have attachments to certain pieces of property that may or may not have a lot of actual value. So, before you embark on a course toward divorce or agree to some sort of settlement, you need to carefully think about the assets in play and how much you want to fight for each of them.
This is especially true when it comes to the family home. Some people will fight with everything they have to keep the house, but it might not be in your best interests to do so. So, let’s take a look at your options so that you know what you can do with the house and decide on which path is best for you.
- Sell the home to a third-party: This is a commonly pursued route. It provides quick separation from your spouse and allows you to pocket your fair share of the equity that has been built up in the house. This equity can provide you with some financial security as you move into your life post-divorce.
- Sell the home to your spouse: The same thought process applies here, except your spouse may want to exchange other marital assets in lieu of money. Again, this might set you up well, financially speaking, as you enter the next phase of life.
- Buy the home from your spouse: If you’re looking to purchase it outright, then you’re going to need an infusion of cash. If you’re going to give up other marital assets, then you need to make sure that you’re being careful to ensure that you’ll still have the financial resources you’ll need to keep and maintain the home. This is especially true if your household income will be dropping significantly due to you losing your spouse’s income.
- Continue to jointly own the home with your spouse: Sound strange? It is a bit unusual. Yet, by continuing to own the home you can build keep building equity and share in maintenance costs. One option is to rent the home out, while others allow their children to live in the home while the parents rotate in and out on a weekly or monthly basis. The latter option can give children some stability during a difficult time. This option can also be utilized to weather a challenging housing market until home prices go up again.
This type of analysis can be beneficial regardless of the assets in question. You’ll want to make sure you understand the financial burden of each and how badly you really need or want a particular asset before fighting for it. This can be a difficult endeavor, especially if you have emotional attachments to certain assets.
Fortunately, though, you don’t have to go through divorce and the property division process on your own. Instead, you can work carefully with a family law attorney who knows how to assess the facts at hand and help you develop a legal strategy that puts you on the path to a successful and stable life post-divorce. So, if you find yourself contemplating divorce or already having taken that first step toward marriage dissolution, then it might be time to consider reaching out to one of these professionals.