Written by Mary Ann Hess

Dealing with the house and divorce

For most couples who own or are financing their home, the house is the most valuable asset. That means deciding what happens with it requires difficult decisions. Collaborative divorce can give you a great chance to work together on this. You can work out issues for the house and divorce through cooperation and communication.

This won’t always be easy. In fact, it will usually be the most difficult asset to work out between you and your spouse. But collaborative divorce puts you on the same side to reach an agreement fair to both of you.

Who Gets the House?

Deciding who keeps the house is the most obvious piece of this decision. You will consider whether one person can more easily move, or if you want to keep the kids together in the house. You may also think about whether one of you had the house before you married. If one person stays, you want to decide together who it should be. The value of the home will be part of that spouse’s share in the settlement.

On the other hand, many couples decide neither wants or can afford to stay. In those cases, you may choose to sell the house and split the proceeds. Again, the fairest division may be fifty-fifty, but not always. You will work with lawyers and experts to decide how to get the most value and how to split the sale price.

Costs and Incidentals

Of course, possession or sale of the house isn’t everything. If one person stays, will he or she be responsible for the mortgage, or should that be paid in support? A home creates financial burdens, so you need to consider the costs as well as the benefit. If one of you sacrificed income for the other’s career, that could factor in your arrangements.

Other costs enter in too. Homeownership includes insurance, taxes, and repair costs. All of these costs, as well as the benefits of staying, go into your decision as you work toward your settlement. What is fair for each of you to contribute depends on income, assets, and expectations built into your marriage.

In a collaborative divorce, you will share the cost of experts to help determine the split. These decisions require careful analysis and calculation. Valuing the home and all the expenses demand expertise and the ability to look at all sides of the equation. You will need financial and real estate experts to get a clear picture of what is fair to both of you.

Finding the Best Path Forward

Your goal through the entire process is to reach a fair settlement agreement. Working out the house and divorce arrangements takes time and effort. Still, if you and your spouse approach the process respectfully, you can find an agreement that works for you. It takes time, energy, and open communication, but you can make it work.

Working out your house and divorce arrangements gives you a big piece of the settlement puzzle. To get to an agreement, though, you need compassionate, expert representation. To get legal help in a collaborative divorce in the Phoenix area, contact a professional at BestLegalChoices.com. We will help you start on the path to a divorce settlement that is fair to both of you.

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