Dividing assets during the marriage dissolution process can be messy. Spouse’s often fight over those assets that they feel are most beneficial to their future, and there are sometimes emotional attachments that can make letting an asset go challenging. In far too many cases, people either rush through the property division process, thereby putting themselves at risk of being taken advantage of, or they get hung up on assets that may actually be detrimental to their financial position post divorce. Therefore, before engaging in property division, it’s helpful to develop a carefully analyze your situation, develop goals, and craft a plan that furthers your interests.
This is particularly important if you have a family home that has come into play. Many individuals have an attachment to the family residence, especially if they’ve raised kids there or made significant renovations. But fighting for the family home might not be best for you moving forward. Consider the following options:
- Exchanging the home for assets: Whether you want to fight for the family home or get rid of it, one way to reach your goal is to negotiate an exchange: one’s share of the marital home for greater share of other assets. This could mean obtaining or giving up retirement and bank accounts, or it could mean a more significant swing the distribution of items of personal property. Just remember, if you’re fighting to acquire the home, you’re going to be responsible for the mortgage payments and maintenance on your own without your spouse’s income. For many people, this outcome is financially overwhelming. By giving up the home for other assets, you could give yourself a strong financial start going into your post-divorce life.
- Sell the home to a third-party: For many couples this is the easiest answer. It allows you to cleanly break away from your spouse while at the same time providing you with some profit, hopefully. This can give you some stability as you move forward.
- Keep the home: Whether you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse decide to rent out the property or keep it for the sake of providing your children with some stability, continuing to co-own the home has its benefits. Of course, you’ll still have to contribute to the mortgage and upkeep, so you’ll have to ask yourself if you really want to deal with that, even though your spouse will probably continue to chip in.
As with most property division issues, there are a whole host of options at your disposal. You’ll want to be diligent in researching your options and crafting a strategy that positions you as best as possible for the future.