You have spent nearly two decades in your house, raised a family there and continue to do so. This is home. This place makes you feel comfortable, and this place has a great amount of history and memories. But your living in this home now is in jeopardy due to a pending divorce.
What becomes of the house in divorce? You want to remain living there, but you must be realistic. There is a strong likelihood that you will have to move out and find other living arrangements. Property division negotiations will determine what happens. Maybe it makes sense for you and the kids to remain in the home together. That is a possibility, but there are others, too.
Buy, sell and move
There really are two solutions to what happens to the home. Selling it and splitting the proceeds or buying your former spouse’s share. Here are details in each scenario along with a couple of other things to remember:
- Selling the house: Often, this remains the most logical solution if both spouses’ names are on the title of the house. In some situations, there really is no choice. This may occur when both spouses express their desire to remain in the home or if a person on his or her own cannot afford the mortgage payments. Sometimes, too many memories in a house may lead to much pain related to the marriage. Then it is time to move on.
- Buying your former spouse’s share of the house: In order to do this, you must make sure that you can comfortably accomplish this big financial step. Will you be able to afford the mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and home repair costs? Together as a couple, you had the financial wherewithal. However, alone, it may prove challenging. Sometimes, parents with children decide this is a solid option because they want to continue to raise the kids in the family home.
- More on living with children in the home: It is also possible to remain in the marital home until your minor children or even young adult children attending college graduate from their respective schools. There must be an agreement in place declaring that the house will not be sold until the children fulfill those goals.
- The only option may be to move: Sometimes, you may have no choice but to move if the home was purchased by your spouse prior to the marriage and your name has not been included or added to the title of the home.
The family home is a significant investment and filled with cherished and maybe not-so-cherished memories. In many cases, the house represents the biggest marital asset. When dividing assets, give extra scrutiny as to what happens to the home.