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How to deal with the family home when dividing assets

Many of our Maryland readers get married and expect to build a life with their spouse. A married couple’s life together can involve many decisions that have huge implications for their future, such as the decision to have children and to purchase a home together. Unfortunately, those very issues can become complex and emotional problems if the couple ends up going through a divorce.

One of the key parts of any divorce is deciding how to divide the property obtained during the marriage. Included in the marital property is often one of the biggest assets – the family home. And, depending on how the couple wants to approach the issue of property division, what to do with the family home can often come down one of two options: sell the home or allow one party to keep it.

This part of the decision making process was covered in a recent article. According to the article, simply selling the home and splitting the profits between the two divorcing spouses may be the easiest approach. However, this option is usually dependent on whether or not the home is worth more than what is owed on the remaining mortgage.

If one party wants to keep the home, things can get tricky. Of course, if the value of the home is offset by the property awarded to the other spouse, this may solve the problem. However, the family home is usually the most valuable asset a couple owns, so more often than not the spouse who gets to keep the home ends up having to compensate the other spouse. This can be done during a refinance, in which the spouse who gets to keep the home gets the mortgage solely in their name.

Source: Reuters, “Splitsville? How to divide property in a divorce,” Geoff Williams, Oct. 7, 2013

Related Posts: Who keeps the engagement ring in a property division dispute?, Dealing with asset division, other issues through limited divorce, Who should determine asset division – my ex and I or the court?, Property division: What will happen to my business in a divorce?, Guidelines for property division in a Maryland divorce,
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