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What should you do with the family home in your divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2023 | Divorce & Family Law

Untangling your marriage during the divorce process can be a difficult task. While there are certainly financial considerations that come into play, there are also emotional components that can impact how you address key legal issues, including property division. But it’s important that you take control of your emotions during your marriage dissolution so that you can clearly see the issues before you and make the decisions that are right for your long-term stability.

We know that’s a lot easier said than done. This may be especially true when you’re dealing with matters like disposing of the family home. Although there may be some equity built up in the residence and you may attach a significant amount of sentimental value to it, fighting to keep the family home may not be your best option.

Figuring out what to do with the family home in your divorce

Retaining the family home post-divorce can give you a place to live, but it can also leave you saddled with more expenses than you can manage. Remember, your household income is probably going to drop significantly without your spouse’s support, which means that you may be solely responsible for the mortgage and upkeep on the home.

If that has you worried, here are some other ways to deal with the family home in your divorce:

  • Sell it to a third party: This is a popular option because it allows you to break away from your spouse cleanly without having to live in a home that has painful memories. It can also give you some cash to help you get established in your new life. Since Virginia is an equitable division state, you’ll just need to make sure that the home is selling for a fair price and that you’re receiving your fair share of the proceeds.
  • Barter with your spouse: If you ultimately decide that you want to keep the family home, you’ll want to figure out what you need to give your spouse in return. This may include an outright purchase of the other half of the home, if you have that much money, or it might involve surrendering other marital assets to your spouse. You’ll just want to make sure that you’re careful here and that you’re not giving away too much. After all, some assets, like retirement accounts, may have more long-term value than you realize.
  • Continue co-ownership: Another option is to continue to own the residence with your spouse. Of course, both of you living there is unlikely to work, which is why you might want to consider turning it into a rental property. This allows you to continue to build equity in the residence, which can support your long-term financial goals. You’ll just want to make sure that you and your former spouse have a strong plan in place for payment arrangements and property management.

As you can see, there are a lot of different directions in which you can take your property division process. To reach the best outcome possible, you have to know what you want and how to create a legal strategy that gets you there.

Creating a strategy that works for you

 We know that your divorce has you stressed and worried about the future. But those burdens only increase when you try to navigate your divorce on your own. That’s why you might want to consider having a legal professional by your side as you navigate your marriage dissolution. By doing so, you can have a strong advocate in your corner who will diligently work to ensure that your interests are as fully protected as possible given the circumstances at hand.