How Can I Keep My House In A Divorce?
Are you currently going through divorce or already finalized one? Are you stressed out not knowing what to do with your house? Divorce can be tricky waters to navigate, especially when it comes to deciding the best course of action for your home. Your home is likely the biggest asset you share with your spouse, so deciding its fate is going to be one of the most important decisions you make as you navigate the stressful and frustrating waters of divorce. I’ve listed out a few helpful tips you can consider as you evaluate your options.
Is it worth keeping my home?
Many who go through divorce decide they want to keep their home, and if you’re reading this you are presumably leaning the same way. Being such a large asset, making the decision to keep or sell your house should be well researched and thought-out. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself if you are exploring this option:
What makes the most sense for my kids?
If you and/or your spouse do keep your home, you should consider your kids mental and emotional stability as they go through such drastic change. If either of you get primary physical custody over your children, you may want to consider the parent with such custody stay in the home to maintain some level of stability.
Can I afford to buy-out my spouse’s equity?
Assuming both your names are on the title of the home, you must be able to buy out your spouse’s accumulated interest. You can do this by refinancing and taking on a new mortgage, giving up other marital assets equal to the value of their equity, or you can come up with a gradual buyout agreement as part of your settlement.
How is the housing market currently trending?
If you’re on the fence about whether to sell or keep your home, market trends can make that choice much easier for you. To state the obvious, if housing prices are sunk and deflated, you may take a serious financial hit by selling your house. Conversely, if housing prices are inflated (as they are now), the financial benefit of selling your home may outweigh the benefits of keeping it.
When should I co-own my house?
When faced with divorce, some couples decide that neither of them want to sell their house and instead choose to co-own. Couples usually do not co-own as a long-term solution, but instead maintain ownership until housing prices rise so they can get a better payout when selling.
Couples will commonly co-own the house and keep it as a rental property. If you go this route, be prepared to continue having a close working relationship with your ex-spouse. In essence, you become business partners in managing the property as landlords.
Before entering into a co-ownership agreement, you and your ex-spouse should have a firm agreement (ideally contractual) of how you will divide mortgage payments, repairs, and other home ownership expenses.
Is it better to sell?
Perhaps before you ask yourself, “how can I keep my house during divorce?” you should first figure out if you should keep your house. Selling your house during divorce may be the most simple option available to you. You may find yourself in a financial position where selling is your only realistic option. As previously stated, even if you are financially able to retain ownership of your home, current market trends may make selling the best of your available options.
How can I get help?
Your house is only one of the many dilemmas you’ll face during divorce. You’ll also face dealing with division of assets, possible custody battles, spousal/child support, acquisition of all legal documents/forms, etc. Luckily you don’t have to tackle this on your own.
Casey Hoyer with Hoyer Law Firm has been helping couples in divorce since 2003, offering his expertise and guidance with your best interest in mind. Call us today at 801-901-0797 to schedule a free consultation.