One of the most challenging and complicated discussions you may have during a divorce is deciding how to divide the family home. In comparison to other property and assets, memories and emotions are tied to your house.
Some may not want to uproot children from the place they were raised, especially if it means changing schools and moving away from friends. Other couples may consider selling the home as a way to make a fresh start.
Three options for dividing the marital home
Only you and your family can determine what is best for you, but there are three primary options available that will have different financial impacts:
- Sell and divide the proceeds: The easiest and cleanest way is to sell the home and split any equity that has accrued. However, if you make money, you could be responsible for capital gains taxes. You also want to make sure that your credit is in good order and you can afford a new home, and whether to rent or buy.
- One spouse buys out the other: If one spouse wants to stay in the home, you’ll need to determine the value and find a buyout figure. If your spouse buys your share of the home, your name may be removed from the deed but could stay on the mortgage. Determine whether that’s acceptable as it could affect your credit, especially if payments aren’t made.
- Joint ownership: Regardless of whether you or your spouse continue living there, some couples maintain joint ownership for various reasons, such as a soft real estate market or financial difficulties. Determine how to split expenses, including mortgage payments, home improvements and major repairs. In most cases, the spouse who stays pays taxes, utilities, insurance and minor maintenance.
Seek knowledgeable legal representation
One of the biggest concerns after divorce is financial stability and the hope for a better future. An experienced family law attorney here in Illinois will protect your interests by making sure all your assets, property and debt are equitably split. Your attorney will work for a timely and favorable solution in what can be a complicated and contentious process.