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Four options for dividing the family home in a divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2021 | Divorce |

Many people in Harrisburg are homeowners, and may even own more than one home, such as their primary residence and a vacation home. These pieces of real estate can be some of the most valuable assets a couple owns. So, if homeowners divorce, determining what to do with the family home and vacation home are some of the most important decisions they will face. The following are some options homeowners seeking a divorce may consider.

Option 1: Exchange the home for other assets

If a couple has multiple large assets, one spouse can be awarded the family home and the other spouse can be awarded assets of a similar value. Keep in mind that Pennsylvania is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that when it comes to property division in a divorce, assets will be divided based on what is fair, even if this does not lead to an exact 50-50 split.

Option 2: A buy-out

Another option is for one spouse to keep the home and buy out their ex’s share in the property. In equitable distribution states the buy-out may be more or less than 50% of the value of the home based on factors such as each spouse’s income, each spouse’s financial contributions to the marriage and each spouse’s earning potential.

Option 3: Stay on as co-owners

A more unusual option is for both spouses to remain co-owners of the family home post divorce. This may be an attractive option to parents who want to keep raising their children in the family home post-divorce, and then sell the property later on down the road when the children are grown. If spouses choose this option, they will need to agree on who will pay household expenses, such as the mortgage, utilities and upkeep.

Option 4: Sell the home

Finally, sometimes neither spouse wants to keep the family home. They may not be able to afford it financially, or they may simply want to rid themselves of a place with bad memories and have a fresh start. In this situation, they may decide to sell the home and split the proceeds. Spouses will have to agree on a sales price and cooperate in negotiating the sale of the home.

Learn more about property division

Property division, especially in a high asset divorce, is an important issue. This post does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about property division in Pennsylvania can visit our firm’s website for further information.