Your home is likely one of the most valuable assets you and your spouse own. With such a large portion of marriages ending in divorce, chances are you or someone you know will be touched by this major life transition. It's important to know what your options are when it comes to division of such assets because it can set you up for feast or famine based on your choice to cooperate amicably or battle each other.
So what are some of your options?
When you decide to get divorced, there are three options regarding the house ranging from the simplest to the most complicated:
a. Sell the House. Sometimes the easiest solution is to sell the house and split the proceeds. Many couples choose this option when:
- there is a decent amount of equity tied up in the house, and
- the mortgage, tax, maintenance & associated payments are, or may become, too much for one person to carry.
b. Keep the House (and Refinance). You or your spouse may keep the house through a "buy out." The selling spouse usually insists on:
- receiving fair market value for his/her share,
- refinancing the mortgage in order that his/her name may be removed from the mortgage, and
- quickly receiving his/her money, usually through increasing the size of the old mortgage.
c. Do Nothing. You could maintain the status quo, the house isn't sold or refinanced. Instead, the "move-out" spouse agrees to wait a certain number of years before the house is sold, often a time frame that corresponds with the children leaving home. The status quo solution may sound attractive, but there are risks involved.
Personally, I have been through a divorce so I am aware of some of the difficulties and sensitivities that come with this tumultuous and emotional time. It's an ending of a huge chapter of your life and it also marks the start of a new beginning. Emotions are high and sometimes, so is tension.
One of the most important things you can do is gather your team of professionals (ie: lawyer or mediator, Realtor, financial advisor) to help keep you informed of all of your options.
Century 21 Choice Realty, Sault Ste. Marie ON