Keeping the Family Home in Marital Asset Division: Coup or Curse?

Property division can be complicated.

Staying in the family home often appeals to the parent with primary timesharing.

In many cases, to achieve an even split of the total marital assets, this means that all the other assets are allocated to the other spouse.

What may appear to be a fair, even split on paper sometimes isn’t so even over the long haul.

Pensions and financial accounts do not require maintenance and typically will appreciate over time.

Real estate may well appreciate too over time but it also demands sometimes significant maintenance and upkeep expenses as well as routine mortgage service, property taxes and insurance.

Financially less sophisticated spouses often don’t fully appreciate how these costs and expenses can mount.

Before long, they may be forced to sell the home anyway. At a price the market will bear. If they can. The outcome is not always positive, especially in economies such as the present one.

The emotional choice to stay in the home may be a poor decision for the financially weaker spouse … at least if they would have to buy out the other spouse’s interest at or about the time of the divorce.

Of course, the assessment may be different if both spouses will share ownership and expenses of the home until their youngest child is emancipated, and then split the proceeds upon sale.

Read more in this TheStreet article: Life’s Tragedies Take Toll on Finances.