There is never a good “time” to get a divorce, but if you do find yourself in this situation, there are always some big questions to be answered. Who gets the house and who gets custody of the kids always seem to be the biggest ones. There are plenty of emotions and memories attached to a house, and this is where problems arise. Assigning a price to where you planned to raise your family and build your lives together is difficult. Homes are typically a couple’s largest asset and what happens to the house can have serious financial implications for both parties in the future. There are several common ways of organizing the disposition of a house in a divorce.
Selling the home
If neither of you want the house or can afford it alone, the easiest, yet likely hardest move, is to sell the home. This is a moment of no going back; it gives the situation a feeling of finality.
Selling an interest in the house
This option involves one spouse releasing his/her interest in the co-owned property in exchange for cash or the promise of cash to be paid in the future. If there are children, this can be an attractive option to mitigate upheaval in the children’s lives. Forcing them into a new living situation on top of everything else can be damaging. This option can be very tricky, and a consultation with an attorney to make sure everything gets covered is important.
Continue being co-owners
If neither of the previous options will work in your situation, then consider continued co-ownership. Redefine your relationship with your ex-spouse as a professional one in which you manage the home for a predetermined amount of time. There can be continued cohabitation or removal of both parties from the house to create a rental property. Legally speaking, this can be a bit more difficult than the other options as you should have several contract, real estate, and business needs.
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