Home is where the heart is, which is why it is often a major sticking point when it comes to property division in a divorce. Spouses in California may both want to keep the family home post-divorce, or perhaps neither wants it. What is important is that spouses understand all their legal options when it comes to dividing the marital home in a divorce, so they can make informed decisions that are in their best interests.
One option is to award the family home to the party that wants to keep it and award the other party marital assets of a similar combined value. However, the party who wants to keep the home should think carefully about whether they can afford to do so. After all, repairs will need to be made, the mortgage needs to be paid and insurance costs and taxes must also be considered. Since the person awarded the home will have to pay all these expenses on a single income, some people may find that they simply cannot afford to keep the family home.
Therefore, sometimes a couple agrees to sell the family home in a divorce and split the proceeds. However, homeowners should keep in mind that capital gains taxes may be owed on any appreciation in value. Once sold, however, each party can simply have their share of the sale proceeds funneled to an individual bank account.
The family home has more than sentimental value — it is often a couple’s largest asset. Therefore, it is important that it is divided fairly. Some spouses may be able to afford buying out their ex and keeping the home, while other couples may wish to simply sell the home. These are very personal decisions that can have a lasting impact, so it is important that each spouse seek professional advice before proceeding.