For a lot of divorcing couples, the biggest asset they have – and the hardest to settle in the split – is the family home.
You basically have three possible options: You can sell and split the proceeds, one spouse can buy out the interest of the other at fair market value or you can agree to hang onto the house for a while and sell it at a time that’s more convenient.
Why on earth would you want to take that last option? Here are some possible reasons:
You don’t have enough equity in the home
The real estate market was on fire between 2020 and early 2022, but it’s cooled down quite a bit since then.
At the time, properties were selling at or above their asking price, and anybody who wanted to get into a home made their peace with the cost. If you were among that group, you may find that the market value of your home has decreased since the middle of last year. There are indications, too, that prices may slip lower.
That could make it very hard to sell your home for the price you need right away, so treating it as an investment property for the time being may be wiser.
You have children that need the stability
If you have very young children, teenagers in their last years of high school or a child with special needs, moving may be incredibly hard on them – especially when they’re already dealing with other significant changes in their family structure.
It may be more beneficial for your children if you and your spouse can agree to keep the family home for a few years, until moving would be less traumatic for them.
If you do decide that it’s not a good time to sell the house, you and your spouse will need to carefully discuss how everything from the mortgage and insurance will be paid to who is responsible for repairs after the divorce. Make sure that you have experienced legal guidance by your side.