When we're first in the midst of divorce and hit with the thought of dividing up our lives and possessions, we quite naturally might view the family home as one of our more important possessions. Your home most likely carries many wonderful memories for you or your children, and emotionally it may provide a sense of mental security in the midst of some very unsettling times.
However, there are many things to think through in deciding to fight for the ownership of the marital home — above all else, can you afford to keep it and maintain it alone?
Essentially, there are four basic options to consider in dealing with the marital home in divorce. You can:
- Sell your share of the house to your STBXH.
- Buy out your STBXH's share and keep it or sell it at a future date.
- Sell the house together and split the proceeds.
- Continue to own the house jointly with your STBXH and sell it in the future to your STBXH (EX) or a third person.
While the real estate market may have hit bottom, and could return in the coming years, you have to ask yourself if you can honestly afford to maintain the house if you were to choose to keep it (in whatever form). Otherwise, you could find it to become a huge financial burden and drive you into debt.
In her interview above, Family Law Attorney, Janell Weinstein, explains the pros and cons of selling the marital home.