As the largest asset that most Michigan couples own, a home can be a source of great pride and a wonderful financial investment in your future during a marriage. That is, until the marriage doesn’t work out. As soon as divorce enters the picture, all of that changes. Suddenly, what was a blessing can become a burden.
So what do you do with a home when your marriage doesn’’t work out? A tough question indeed. But don’t despair. You’re not alone in this dilemma, and we’re here to help you.
The house itself is often the single hardest item for divorcing spouses to negotiate. Who gets Aunt Stella’s valuable fine china, versus who gets stuck paying off the new car are usually far less contentious issues than what to do with the house.
When you think about it though, it makes sense. After all, it’s not just the most valuable asset, but also has the singular misfortune of not being something that can be physically divided into two equal halves. At least, not in it’s current state. So what do you do?
Some couples choose to have one person remain in the home and pay off half of it’s value to the departing spouse. In essence, the domestic equivalent of a buyout. However, not everyone is in the financial position to fork over half of their home’s value to their ex. And of course, this doesn’t work for couples who can’t even agree on who gets to keep the home and who has to leave.
Deciding what to with your home can be a very stressful choice for divorcing couples.
A more common solution is that the parent who gets either sole or primary custody often gets the house. This is sometimes done in order to ensure that the divorce causes as little disruption to the children as possible. Though this raises the issue of financial means. What if the parent with primary custody cannot afford to remain alone in the family home? Even with child support, and possible spousal support payments, a mortgage can be very expensive.
Even if money is not an issue, there’s often the issue of a combative spouse. Or simply a divorcing spouse who maintains that “if I can’t have it, then nobody can.” Not a healthy mentality to have about the family home, but not an uncommon one during contentious divorces. A spouse who will argue against you remaining in the home to “get back at you” for hurting them, or leaving them, isn’t as rare as you’d think.
The truth is, there is no “one size fits all” solution for this problem. Too many factors influence the final decision for it to be made without assessing each and every aspect of the situation. There are financial considerations, emotional issues and the ever-present ‘best interests of the child’ that will affect the outcome for each couple.
However, a skilled family law attorney can help you address every aspect of this tricky issue, and help you work towards a solution that will meet the needs of all parties involved. We can’t promise that it will be easy, but we can promise to stand by you every step of the way, and make certain that your future is protected in the best way possible.