For many people, the marital home is an important piece of property. Buying a home is a major investment. It also has sentimental value for some. It may be where you raised your kids, celebrated holidays with loved ones and made other fond memories.
These factors can make addressing the marital home difficult if you are going through divorce - whether you want to stay in your home or get out of it and move on. However, in order to get through your divorce and move on with your life, you will have to determine how you want to handle your home. You have a few options.
One of you stays
If you have children who live at home, this is a common option. Typically, the parent who has primary custody will be allowed to stay in the home. However, if you don't have children or they are no longer living at home, one of you may still be allowed to stay.
If you decide that is the best option, one option for making it financially fair is to refinance the home in the name of the spouse that will continue living there. However, if one spouse far out-earned the other, it may be possible for the under-earning spouse to seek mortgage payments from their ex as part of a fair property division agreement.
Your lawyer can help you determine what makes the most sense for you and help you seek a fair outcome.
You sell the home
If you both want to move on from the marriage and the marital home, selling it may be your best option. If selling it is profitable, you can split the proceeds fairly. If it's not, the next step may depend on how amicable your divorce is.
If you and your ex get along, one of you could continue living in the home until the market improves. You could also rent your house if you're comfortable being landlords. However, if waiting to address the house is not an option, you may have to take the loss and move on.
What happens if you don't agree on what to do?
If you and your ex cannot reach an agreement about what to do with your home, it will be up to the court to decide. You and your attorney can present arguments for why you should get your way, but the court will make the final decision.
Why you should get help from an attorney
Deciding how best to address the family home in divorce is not always an easy process. An experienced divorce lawyer, however, can protect your best interests throughout the process. Having an attorney who is willing to fight for what is best for you can help ensure you achieve a fair and favorable outcome.