Make no mistake, divorce, while certainly an emotional endeavor, is a major financial transaction. By the time all is said an done, your marital assets will be divided in an equitable fashion, which could lead you on uncertain financial footing. This is why it is imperative that you have a plan going into divorce negotiations, especially as it pertains to your major assets.
How to deal with the family home
One big asset that often creates enormous headaches during the property division process is the family home. There are often emotional attachments to the residence, but fighting for it might not be in your financial interests. Here are some of your options when it comes to dealing with the family home:
- Buy the home: If you have the cash on hand, then you can buyout your spouse. This can be a large expense up front, and you’ll want to keep in mind that you’re going to be solely responsible for the mortgage and upkeep associated with your home.
- Sell the home to your spouse: You might be able to sell the residence to your spouse, which can provide you with an infusion of cash at a critical moment.
- Barter: You and your spouse can negotiate who will receive the home, offsetting the value of the home with other assets. For example, certain retirement accounts might be given up in exchange for the family home.
- Sell the home to a third-party: This option provides you with your fair share of the proceeds while allowing you to escape the costs associated with keeping the home. Of course, you might take an emotional hit if you’re attached to the home.
- Keep the home: If you and your spouse end your marriage on amicable terms, then you might be able to continue to co-own the home. This allows you to continue to build equity while providing some sense of stability to your children, who might be feeling a little distraught. Just keep in mind that, unless you want to live with your ex-spouse, someone is going to have to pay for a second place to stay.
Be ready to fight for what is fair
Divorce is rarely easy, and matters can be complicated by the financial issues involved. But don’t let yourself be duped into an unfavorable resolution simply because you want to appear nice or you want to avoid conflict. Instead, think about working your case with an attorney who will know how to advocate for you and your interests.