When couples divorce, each partner collects half of all jointly held assets. If lawyers, mediators and judges do their jobs, both sides feel the outcome is fair.
Dividing money is straightforward. It is also somewhat simple to put a price on most tangible items and distribute them equitably. The home is an asset that is not as elementary to split. Divorcing couples have several choices for the house where they cohabitated.
Selling the home
The least complex path is selling the property and sharing the proceeds. Bickering soon-to-be-exes might not want to take this route. The process could become yet another point of contention.
Buying out the home
One spouse might have a sentimental attachment to the house, especially if it was a gift from a relative. If children are part of the picture, it makes sense for them to stay in their childhood digs. It is logical for the parent receiving custody to maintain ownership of the dwelling.
The adult who is staying can compensate the partner who is leaving. Before this can happen, the home needs an appraisal to determine market value. Another concern is whether the remaining resident is capable of handling maintenance expenses.
Living in the home
Technically speaking, it is possible to leave the situation alone. Both partners will continue existing under the same roof. Likewise, the title will not change. For obvious reasons, this arrangement is not for everyone.
Divorcing couples are at a crossroads in their lives. They must make hard decisions, including ones about future living arrangements. Each pair must pause to consider every option.