You and your spouse have more than one option when it comes to determining how to divide the family home fairly in your divorce. What you will be dividing is the equity, so each of you should hire an appraiser to place a value on the real estate.
Your next move depends on what you agree to do with the property.
One of you keeps the home
Beware of any emotional attachment you have to your family home that may cloud your judgment. Keeping the property does not just mean you take on the existing mortgage payments. Tax consequences, maintenance and repairs can take a substantial sum from your post-divorce budget.
You will also have to refinance the mortgage in your own name so that your spouse is no longer on the loan. Your income has to be sufficient to qualify. You will also need to be able to buy out your spouse’s share of the equity.
If your spouse wants to keep the property, it may benefit you to let it go.
Sell the house
Putting the house on the market may be the simplest option. Especially if it is currently a seller’s market, you may be able to get out of the home with money to start your new single life.
However, keep in mind that expenses such as mortgage debt, taxes and realtor commission come out of the sale price. Also, if the housing market is slow, it may take quite a while to sell the house and receive the equity. Meanwhile, you must both make the payment as well as finding a new place to live.
Both of you keep the home
This idea may not seem immediately appealing, but there may be a number of benefits to keeping the house together. Waiting for a better housing market or biding your time until you both can find new places to live could resolve a worrying financial issue. The most common reason a couple keeps a home is to provide stability for children, though.
Having options allows you to come up with the solution that works for you and your spouse.