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To keep or sell the family home in a divorce?

The family home is often one of a couple’s most valuable assets, both financially and emotionally. Perhaps this is why deciding what to do with it in the event of a divorce is such an important decision. Both spouses may wish to keep the home, but there are some considerations to keep in mind when dealing with the family home during the property division process.

First, keep your financial future in mind. A dual-income couple in San Francisco may have comfortably been able to afford the costs of home ownership, but will that still be true when you are living on a single income post-divorce? In addition to paying the mortgage, you’ll also be paying property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, utilities and maintenance costs associated with homeownership. It is important to make sure you will be able to afford all these expenses if you are going to fight to keep the family home.

Some couples going through a divorce conclude that neither can afford to keep the family home. Other times the family home may be a place of bad memories that they want to move on from. These couples may decide that they want to sell the family home and divide the proceeds. Doing so takes a certain amount of cooperation between the spouses, as they will have to agree on a selling price, realtor and how to continue to pay the mortgage until the sale is complete. Also, there may be capital gains taxes to pay on the sale, depending on the circumstances.

Deciding what to do with the family home during a divorce can be an emotional decision, but it is important to think practically about the matter. Keeping the home requires money, selling it requires cooperation. It is important that you do what is in your best interests moving forward.