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Options for the family home in the property division process

The family home may be the biggest purchase you made during your marriage. But, as time marches on, not all marriages will last, and you may find yourself wondering what will happen to your family home in your divorce. Generally, there are three options you have regarding the family home and divorce in California: one party keeps it, both parties keep it or both parties sell it.

One party keeps the home

Oftentimes one spouse will be awarded the family home in the property division process and the other spouse will either be awarded assets of a similar value or the spouse keeping the home will buy out the other spouse’s share in the home. If you are considering fighting to keep the family home, it is important to keep the costs of homeownership in mind. Will you be able to afford the mortgage, upkeep, taxes and insurance on the property? If not, you may want to consider other options.

Both parties keep the home

This is a more unusual option, but one that works out for some. Sometimes the parties want to keep raising their children in the familiar family home. One party will live with the children in the home, but both parties will continue as co-owners of the home post-divorce, and then sell the home together later on down the road. This may work if spouses can work cooperatively post-divorce, but it will keep them tied to one another even after their marriage has ended.

Both parties sell the home

Sometimes neither party can or wants to keep the family home. When this happens, they may decide to sell the family home and divide the proceeds. It is important to note any tax consequences as well as brokers’ commissions that may follow such a sale.

Ultimately, deciding what to do with the family home in a divorce is not an easy part of the property division process. Sometimes couples can reach a settlement on property division issues, but other times they need to turn to the court to make such decisions. A family law attorney can be a useful resource in such situations.