The biggest material asset that most couples own is their home — and that’s always a problem when a couple breaks up. You can’t exactly just split up a house in a divorce the same way you do the furniture and dishes.
So what are your options? Well, they’re probably more varied than you think.
4 ways to deal with the marital home in your divorce
The first thing you should do is spring for an appraisal. In the relatively volatile real estate market, that’s the only way that you’re going to know exactly how much equity you have in your home right now. You can’t make an informed decision without that information.
Once you know exactly what your house is worth, here are the basic options:
- You can sell the home and divide the equity between you. How much each of you takes from the sale can be negotiated as part of your divorce, but this is usually the quickest, cleanest way to handle things.
- One of you keeps the house and buys out the other. Knowing the true value of the home makes this process fair, and it’s a good solution if one party has both the means and the desire to stay in the family home.
- You agree to sell the home sometime after your divorce. This is seldom ideal, but it’s a good solution if your home has very little equity right now or you want the kids to be able to remain in a familiar setting until they’re older.
- You trade one asset for another. Maybe you want the house and your ex wants the boat and the car. If the equity you have in these items is roughly equal, you can make a trade.
Whatever you decide is best for your situation, you can’t afford to treat the issue lightly. The financial consequences for your future can be serious. Working with an experienced Glen Carbon attorney can help you avoid a serious mistake.