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Property division and the family home: to sell, or not to sell?


Home may be where the heart is, but when it comes to a divorce it is quite the issue to contend with. Sometimes each party has an emotional tie to the home, pitting one spouse against the other when it comes to property division. However, there are key things to think about -- and choices you have -- when it comes to dealing with the family home in a divorce.

One option that people in Oneida County might not initially think of is letting one spouse live in the home temporarily, and then selling the home and splitting the proceeds later on down the road. Sometimes this works out if a couple has children. The custodial parent can live with the kids in the family home they are accustomed to, and once the children are grown and out of the house, the parties can sell the home and split the proceeds. However, it is important to be aware of what you are exchanging in return for living in the home, especially once you are no longer receiving spousal support and child support.

Sometimes, too, it is a good idea to simply sell the home together from the get-go. If parties sell the home together, they can divide the expenses associated with selling the home, as well as the proceeds from the sale. Keep in mind that if you buy out your partner and then wind up putting the house up for sale afterwards, you alone will be responsible for paying all of the costs associated with the sale. If you sell the home by yourself, there could also be tax consequences.

Finally, if you do decide to keep the home, and your ex is on board with that, you still must take into account the costs associated with homeownership. There may be mortgage payments to make, taxes and insurance to pay, and the property will need to be maintained. Moreover, you will now be handling these expenses on your own single income. Therefore, it is important to assess your finances to determine if you can afford to be a homeowner post-divorce.

As you can see, couples going through a divorce have choices when it comes to dealing with the family home. Since each couple's case is unique, it is important that they seek the help they need to make informed decisions.

Source: U.S. News, "Divorcing? Should You Divorce Your Home, Too?," Geoff Williams, Oct. 11, 2017

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