Maybe you just bought your house last year after a massive bidding war with other buyers, or perhaps you have spent more than a decade making mortgage payments and improvements to your family home.
Regardless of when you acquired the property, the chances are good that your marital home is the most valuable asset you share with your spouse. Both of you will have an interest in the home when you file for divorce unless there is a marital agreement or clear ownership records that prove the property belongs separately to only one spouse.
The majority of couples facing divorce will have to include their home in the property division process. What are the possible ways you can address your home in your divorce negotiations?
Keeping the house
Maybe you have already agreed with your ex that you should have primary custody of the children. Asking to keep the family home so that they can remain enrolled at the same school district may be a reasonable request in your divorce.
Perhaps the home has been in your family for generations, or maybe you just like the neighborhood or the home’s proximity to your job. As long as you have the income and credit score necessary to qualify for financing on your own, you may be able to negotiate an arrangement with your ex that involves you owning the home outright following the divorce.
Asking for your share of the equity
Maybe you are ready to move on with your life and want to leave Pennsylvania after the divorce. Perhaps you simply recognize that it would be too much work to take care of home maintenance without the support of a spouse.
If you don’t want to remain living in the marital home, you can always ask for a portion of the equity by allowing your spouse to keep the property. Sometimes, you may negotiate for other assets by leveraging your share of the home equity, such as a retirement account or a family business.
Selling the home
Sometimes, former spouses agree that the best conclusion to their divorce would involve them selling the home where they lived together and splitting the money they earn from the sale. Those proceeds can provide a valuable nest egg that can help you find a place to live that doesn’t have memories from your marriage attached to it.
In rare cases, some couples retain joint ownership, possibly to continue repairing the house, to allow their children to stay in the home that they know or to wait for the market to improve. Understanding how you can handle your home in your Pennsylvania property division proceedings can help you employ the most effective approach.