What Should I Do With My House During the Divorce?

When it comes to dividing property during divorce, one of the biggest decisions you and your spouse will have to make is what you should do with the house. Some people get sentimental about their family home and wish to keep it for their kids’ sake, while others wish to get rid of it and start new. You may wish to sell it, to retain it jointly, retain it independently, or find some other alternative solution. There are several choices available, each with its own set of drawbacks and benefits. If you are unsure of what to do with your home after a divorce, make sure you have a thorough understanding of each of your options.

Selling the House

Many divorcing couples choose to sell the house during or after their divorce. Selling the home can be a great way to find closure, start fresh, and gain a solid chunk of money to rebuild your life upon. While it might be stressful to deal with a sale while also going through the divorce process, you could potentially take your share of the sale money and use it to help with legal fees and other divorce-related expenses. Or, if you choose to sell it after the divorce, make sure your property division outlines specific terms that allow for a smooth sale after the divorce is finalized.

However, it’s equally important that you see the potential disadvantages to selling your home while you go through a divorce. If your home is not ready to sell, it might take some money up-front to make necessary repairs and maintenance. Also, the time and stress of a home renovation, even a small one, can have a significant impact on your already-busy schedule. To take some of the burden off your shoulders, consider hiring a real estate agent to help sell your home faster and eliminate any extra work you might have to do.

One Spouse Keeps the House

Sometimes one spouse wishes to keep the house more than the other, or perhaps both spouses wish to keep it independently. This may lead to an argument, sometimes one that can only be settled in court. In many cases, divorcing couples who share children often choose to leave the children’s primary caregiver. Divorce can significantly impact children, and many parents do whatever they can to soften the blow to their children by changing as little as they can about their daily routines, including the home they live in. If one spouse wishes to retain the home, you can work this agreement into your property division. For example, the spouse who keeps the house might receive fewer of other assets, like other vehicles, funds, vacation homes, and so on.

Keeping the House Together

In certain situations, parents may choose to remain in their marital home together, even after their divorce. People may choose to do this for a variety of reasons. If they do not share children, they might do this to save up money before selling, or to gain their bearings before making another big move. However, most ex-spouses who choose to live together do so for the sake of their children. This is not a typical choice for most divorcing couples, but for a few, it works.

Retain the House as a Rental Property

Another option is to retain the marital home as co-owners and rent it out as an additional source of income. Owning a rental property together can be tricky, especially if you and your spouse are prone to disagree, but it is possible if you are willing to work together on occasion. You will need to agree to rental terms, tenants, and you should also plan for how repairs and maintenance will be handled and paid for.

Everyone is different, and each couple going through a divorce may choose to handle their property in the way that best suits their lifestyle. If you are unsure about what to do with your marital home in a divorce, consider discussing your options with our experienced divorce attorney.

Contact Empire Law to discuss your case with our Yonkers divorce lawyer.