It is one of the most valuable assets that are up for division during a divorce, and also one of the most emotional assets to divide. Typically, it’s also the assets that a couple fights the most over. Dividing or disposing of the marital home is never easy, and there are several challenges involved.
Many couples getting divorced make mistakes when it comes to the disposition of the marital home. It may seem like retaining the home is the best choice for you. After all, if there are children involved, retaining the house will provide continuity to the children’s lives. They do not have to move out, and this will make the divorce much easier for them.
However, when retaining the home as an asset during your divorce, it is also important to consider the long-term ramifications of your decision. Houses are easy to maintain. Apart from maintenance expenses, you also have to consider the fact that you will now be responsible for all kinds of expenses, including property taxes and other taxes on your home.
In short, make sure that you can afford to keep your house. A house will not earn you money, until you sell it. Therefore, this is basically an investment that will remain dormant until you decide to sell it.
Couples may decide to sell the home and divide the proceeds. This may be good decisions to make. However, you may now have to look for a rental home or a purchase of a new home, and there will be tax consequences to consider.
You can also decide to have your spouse buy out your interests, or buy out your spouse’s interests as part of a divorce settlement.
In some cases, couples continue to decide to retain the old house jointly until the children grow up, and they can sell the house and share the proceeds. In such cases, the person who’s living in the house will continue to pay the mortgage, while the other will pay other expenses.
Speak to a divorce lawyer about what is the best option for you.