How to talk about who gets the house in a divorce
Written by Jennifer Moshier

How to talk about who gets the house in a divorce

Home. It’s a word with a powerful meaning. Not only is it the house we live in, but the neighborhood and community around us. It is often the most valuable asset in a divorce. In addition to the financial aspect, the emotional investment can make it highly valued. Deciding who gets the house in a divorce may be one of the most challenging asset divisions you and your spouse face.

What happens to a house in a divorce?

During your divorce and property division, you and your spouse will have to decide what to do with your home. Many factors affect this decision. You may get to stay; you may have to leave. Or, you might end up selling and splitting any proceeds.

Before you make up your mind about what you ideally want to happen, consider your finances. Can you pay the mortgage and all the associated bills on your own? Can your spouse? If neither of you is able to, you may decide to sell. If you can afford it and want to stay, you may choose to buy out your spouse.

Deciding what will happen to your house in a divorce can come with many emotions. Effective communication can help you get to the answer that will be beneficial to your family.

Open Communication

Talking about who gets the house in a divorce can become heated very quickly. Try to separate the memories and emotions you’ve experienced in your home from the conversation. If you think of the house as an asset you need to handle, rather than the place your child took their first steps, it will be easier to remain objective.

While you’re speaking with your spouse about what to do with the house, imagine your kids are in the room before you choose your words. Speak in a way that shows respect and mutual understanding. In divorces involving children, it’s crucial to factor them into the decision about the house. While it may not be feasible to keep it, make sure you weigh every option where they’re concerned, including community, routine and security. Consider as well that children may benefit from a “fresh start” along with their parents.

Collaborative divorce allows couples to work together to make decisions that are mutually agreeable. One of the professionals who can help you during difficult conversations is a communication specialist. These professionals are trained to coach divorcing couples on how to keep the conversations as objective as possible while moving along the discussions. This can help the process go quicker and more smoothly than it might if both spouses come into the discussion focused on their emotions rather than on their family’s best outcome.

Using Collaborative Divorce

In collaborative divorce, both spouses have their own lawyers who communicate with them and other members of a group of professionals. They work to resolve issues without going to court. Deciding what to do with the house in a divorce can be easier with the input of neutral parties. They may be able to help you and your spouse look at the issue from a different perspective and work toward an outcome that is agreeable for everyone involved.

The collaborative process requires communication and transparency. If you’re ready to learn more about what can happen to your house in a divorce, contact a professional at Best Legal Choices today.