When a couple who owns a home divorces, determining how to address this significant asset is often one of the most crucial aspects of the entire process. For many couples, the home they bought as a part of their married life together is the single largest asset either of them has, making it very difficult to fairly divide the asset and finalize the divorce.
If you and your spouse face this dilemma, it is important to consider all your options. First, it is wise to assess whether or not one of you hopes to keep the home after the divorce. If so, the party who keeps the home may need to compensate the party who does not. In the absence of other assets to negotiate a fair settlement, the spouse who keeps the home may consider a structured payment plan to compensate the other spouse if he or she cannot afford to "buy out" the other spouse's claim to the value in the home.
In other cases, it simply does not make sense to keep the home at all. Couples in these circumstances may choose to sell the home and split the profits, or may have to figure out a fair way to share the liability if the house is worth less than the remaining balance on the mortgage.
If you and your spouse face divorce, especially if an asset as significant as a home is on the line, you should consider seeking out professional legal counsel from an experienced divorce attorney. An attorney can guide you through each step of the process and ensure that your rights remain protected throughout the process, while you focus on building a new life on the other side of your divorce.
Source: FindLaw, "Divorce Property Division FAQ," accessed Jan. 05, 2018