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Three Common Ways to Handle a House in a Divorce

Your home is likely to be your largest, most valuable asset, which makes it a significant subject of conversation in divorce negotiations.

When deciding what you will do with the home, you essentially have three options.

Option one: Selling the house

If neither of you can afford the home yourselves, or neither of you wishes to stay in the home, your best bet will be to sell it and work together to get the best possible price from a buyer.

While selling a home will disrupt the everyday lives of your children and result in more post-divorce turbulence from a logistical standpoint, it’s the best move if neither of you can handle the expense and upkeep of the home on your own.

Option two: Exclusive use and occupancy

You can continue to co-own the house, either for a limited time while one spouse has exclusive use of the home for a defined period of time. This is normally done to not displace school age children. The older the children, the more likely this will be granted by a Court. . During this period, the party in the home would be responsible to pay the carrying charges. However, repairs are traditionally shared by the parties.

Option three: Buyout

If one of you wishes to continue owning the home and the other does not, one spouse can sell their interest in the house to the other. The parties will negotiate a buy out amount that is set forth in their settlement agreement that clearly stipulates the amount of money one spouse will pay the other, and how payments will be made. There is usually a time frame provided to the spouse who is buying out the other spouse to refinance the existing mortgage.

For more information about dealing with a home or other high-value assets in a divorce, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP.