Your home is likely the largest asset you have. It can also hold immense emotional and sentimental value. As such, the marital home is often one of the most complex pieces of property parties must address in a divorce.
Before you make any decisions about keeping or selling the home, it is important to consider the realities of each option.
Keeping the home
Keeping the home can be an attractive option for someone who will have primary custody of the children and would like to avoid uprooting them. It can also be the best option if selling the home is not financially advantageous.
However, before you decide to keep your home, be sure that you can afford to. Typically, parties keeping a home will refinance the mortgage, meaning they will have to qualify for a new loan on their own. They must also consider the expense of maintaining the home. If you do not think you can afford this, keeping the home can be an unwise decision.
Selling the home
Parties may agree to sell the home if neither person wants to keep it or neither person can afford to keep it. If parties do not agree, the courts may order the sale of the house. In either case, selling the home can allow parties to split the profits and go their separate ways.
If you are going to sell the home, consider ways to protect the sale price so that you do not lose a significant sum of money. As this article suggests, it is important to examine factors like the housing market, staging expenses and preserving the condition of the home.
Finding another solution
In some cases, parties find alternative solutions regarding their home. Some people let the children stay in the marital home while parents move in and out in accordance with their parenting schedule (bird nesting). Others keep the property and rent it out, splitting the profits and responsibilities. It could also be possible for both people to continue living on the property in separate dwellings.
Often, these alternatives work best for amicable parties with a vested interest in keeping the property; however these options will not be appropriate for everyone.
No matter what you decide to do with the marital home in a divorce, it is vital that the result is fair and in accordance with North Carolina property division laws.