When you are in the midst of a divorce, you may think you want to fight tooth-and-nail to keep the family home. After all, it may be one of your most valuable assets, both financially and emotionally, and sometimes we just want to “win” against our ex.
However, have you stopped to think about what homeownership will look like once the divorce is complete? You will be responsible for paying the mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, upkeep and taxes on a single income. In addition, you will have to either buy out your ex’s share in the home or exchange the home for other assets in the property division process.
If this is a possibility for you, then you may want to try to fight for the family home. If this is not realistic, however, you will want to consider other alternatives for dealing with the family home in a divorce.
Alternative one: Co-own the home
One option that is unusual, but may work for some in Grand Rapids, is for both parties to keep owning the home together after their marriage has ended, and then sell it later down the road. This may work if you have children that you want to remain in the family home. You can continue raising the children in the environment they are familiar with, and once they are grown and out of the house, you can sell the home together.
However, keep in mind that choosing this option requires a great deal of cooperation. You and your ex will have to agree on who pays for the mortgage, upkeep and how the proceeds from the eventual sale will be split. In addition, choosing this option keeps spouses tied together even after their divorce is complete.
Alternative two: Sell the home
This is a popular option, especially if neither party can afford to keep the family home. The home will be put on the market, sold and then the spouses will divide the proceeds of the sale and walk their separate ways. A benefit to this option is that, assuming the home sells for a profit, each party will receive some much-needed cash following the divorce. However, there could be capital gains tax to contend with if you choose to sell the family home.
Think carefully before deciding to fight for the family home
The property division process should not be rushed through. Carefully consider all your alternatives, whether it is keeping the home, co-owning the home or selling the home. Divorce attorneys in the Grand Rapids area understand the property division process and may be a useful source of information.