Family Home and Divorce

Home is where the heart is, right? It is a wonderful place full of memories for a family. Many firsts happen in the family home, from the birth of a child, to seeing your children off to college. A home is also one of the biggest expenditures that a couple will ever make. Because of this, the family home often becomes a hard issue to deal with during a divorce. You are left deciding who should get the house, if it is worth keeping in the first place, and if you can even afford to keep it. All these questions are important to consider before deciding what to do with your family home during a divorce. Below are some of the options and considerations about the family home:

  1. One spouse can keep the home: if this is the decision you make, you need to have the home refinanced under the name of whichever spouses keeping it. That spouse should be responsible for purchasing the other spouse’s share of the property also. The amounts for the buyout is typically negotiable, but the person who and up with the home will have to take on the responsibility of paying any taxes and fees associated with the property. If you are the one giving up your home to your ex-spouse, make sure you get your share, even if it is through other assets.
  2. Jointly owned the home together: joint ownership of the home only works if the divorce happens on terms that are amicable. Many times, couple will keep joint ownership up until a certain time, such as a child graduating from school, then sell the home at a later time. This will leave you attached to your spouse for a while longer financially, though, so you will need to be able to trust your ex-spouse to fulfill their end of the agreement.
  3. Sell the home: when spouses are divorcing, this is typically the easiest option. This can be a hard step, though, considering all the memories you have in the home. Many couples prefer a fresh start and are not as attached to the home and its sentimental value. There are still many financial issues that must be considered when you sell a home. You need to have the property value assessed and will need to be ready to share in the taxes with your ex-spouse.

What to do with your family home is a big issue with any divorce. Make sure you discuss the options with your lawyer and financial adviser before making any big decisions about the family home.