If you are one of the lucky people who gets to live out the American dream by buying and owning your own home, you know how rewarding it can be to have a place of your own. When you are married, real estate property becomes more than a house -- it becomes a home. Dealing with your family home can be one of the toughest decisions you will make when dividing your property during your divorce. In many cases, the family home is the most valuable asset a couple owns, both financially and sentimentally.
For the most part, three basic options exist when it comes to dealing with your marital home. You and your spouse can choose to sell the home, one of you can keep the home, or you can both keep the home. Each family situation is unique, so what may be right for one family may not necessarily be right for another.
Sell the House
The easiest way to deal with your family home is often just to sell it. If you and your spouse both agree to sell the home, you can take the equity you have in the home and split it, leaving each of you with part of the profits. The downside to selling your home is that you may owe capital gains taxes on the home if it has appreciated in value. If your home has depreciated in value, you might want to consider a different option.
One Spouse Keeps the House
When one spouse insists on remaining in the marital home, this can become a tricky situation. The spouse who wants to keep the home will have to become the one and only owner of the home, meaning they will have to refinance the mortgage in just their name. If that spouse’s credit is not as strong as it was as a couple, the interest rates could increase significantly.
On the other hand, the spouse who is keeping the home may be able to negotiate by giving up other assets in order to cover the value of the home. If the other spouse is okay with receiving a larger portion of the other marital assets in exchange for giving the entire home to his or her spouse, the problem may be solved.
Both Spouses Share the House
Though this is not a permanent solution, it can be an option for some couples, especially couples who are in a tight financial situation or who have children. If both couples agree to keep the home as a jointly-owned asset, they may be able to put decisions about selling the home or refinancing the mortgage off for a little while longer. In these cases, it is a good idea for the divorce settlement to specify a date for when these decisions will be made.
Unsure of What to Do? Contact an Elmhurst, IL Divorce Lawyer for Help
When it comes to something as large as your marital home, it can be difficult to know what the right move is for your family. For many people, the family home represents much more than just an asset. If you are unsure of what you should do with your family home during your divorce, you should consult with a skilled DuPage County property division attorney. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we can help you examine all of your options and determine the best one for you. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-852-9700.