To Sell or Not To Sell? How to Handle Your Home during a Divorce

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According to a recent survey, the divorce rate in the United States has gone down from 50 percent to 39 percent. Although this could be great news to some, divorce continues to be one of the most stressful and complicated events in someone’s life.

During a divorce, you and your soon-to-be former spouse have to make arrangements for your children and to divide any shared assets appropriately. The property that is sure to give you the most headaches dividing is your shared home because it tends to be the most expensive asset you have.

So now, you should examine whether you should sell or not sell the property.

To Sell

Depending on your family lawyer, they might suggest that you sell your home during a divorce. The practical reasoning behind this is that putting it on the market makes it easier to divide it. You simply split the proceeds from the sale with your ex-spouse.

Another reason you should sell your home is if your sole salary won’t be able to support payments or cover the cost of its upkeep. For example, if your former spouse’s job was the primary source of your household income, it could be unreasonable to expect that you can take care of all expenses on your own.

However, there can be instances when you want to sell the house, but your spouse is reluctant to do so. In such an event, they’ll have to buy you out of your share of the property. If they can’t afford to do so, then your divorce attorney can file a motion to compel them to sell.

Whatever your reason for selling the family home, be it because its practical to do so or because you can’t stand to live in it anymore, remember not to advertise why. If potential buyers know that you’re selling the property because of a divorce, they might attempt to low-ball you when presenting offers.

father living the house

Not to Sell

On the other hand, you might be the spouse who doesn’t want to sell the home. First of all, it could be a property that has belonged to your family for generations. You could be understandably reluctant to let such a storied home out of your hands.

Second, you and your family might want to stay in the house because of its ideal location. Your children might be going to an outstanding school, or it could be very close to your office. In either case, selling it would mean uprooting you and your family’s entire social lives.

Another compelling reason to keep your house is that the market isn’t optimal at the moment, in which case both you and your spouse will lose out on the sale.

In any case, you should discuss with your divorce attorney and your spouse about your choice. The first option would be to buy them out and assume full ownership of your property. As mentioned above, they might file a motion to compel you to sell, in which case a family judge will decide whether or not you’ll have to sell. Work with your attorney to present a persuasive argument.

No matter whether you want to sell or keep your family home, be sure to consider how the loss of the property will affect you and your family. Any house can be a home, but you can’t afford to alienate your remaining family during such a difficult time.

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