Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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Considering the options surrounding your family home in divorce

If you are considering the possibility of ending your marriage and taking a separate path moving forward, certain aspects of the process may be giving you pause. After all, property division will inherently have a substantial impact on your finances, which can in turn affect your future.

While you may be ready to move on with your life, taking the time to consider your options and how each decision made throughout the process will influence your future may be advisable. One area that could be of significant concern to you is the family home.

Options regarding the family home in divorce

Since a home may account for a considerable about of a couple's wealth, negotiations surrounding this asset can be highly contestable. Every couple faces varying circumstances during divorce, and the decision that is best for you could depend on the variables present, and you might find it beneficial to begin by addressing the options regarding the family home, which may include:

  • Selling the home: You might wish to sell the home and pay off any debts to cut ties with your former spouse and move on with your life. However, the housing market could pose a challenge, and a variety of factors may also make this option less viable, such as the presence of kids.
  • Keeping the home: Whether to allow any children to remain in a familiar environment, or simply as a preference, you or your former spouse may wish to retain possession of the home, which could create a need for further discussion on mortgage options.
  • Mortgage: If either of you wish to keep the home, you may have a couple of available options, refinancing the mortgage or keeping the existing one.
  • Quitclaim deed: Either way, if one spouse wishes to obtain sole ownership and liability for the home, the other may need to sign a quitclaim deed to relinquish any rights to the property.

With emotions running high, making informed decisions during a potentially stressful process can be difficult at best. However, the outcome of your divorce could shape your future, even if only temporarily, and attempting to remain calm could be crucial to pursuing the best outcome possible.

Looking to the future

In equitable distribution states, such as New York, the division of marital assets must be fair but doesn't necessarily have to be equal. Understanding this aspect of divorce and knowing the value of assets and the potential advantages and disadvantages of pursuing each in turn could be a solid move toward seeking the most favorable outcome possible during legal proceedings. However, with numerous crucial aspects to cover, seeking guidance could be key to moving into the future with financial peace of mind.

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