For divorcing Massachusetts couples, deciding what to do with the family home may be one of the biggest decisions they face. Determining property division during a divorce must be weighed carefully before choosing an option that could be financially harmful to one or both parties in the future. There are many legal issues to consider and pros and cons that go along with each.
One possible option is that one party keeps the house. If this is the case, any existing mortgage on the home will need to be refinanced in the name of the spouse keeping the home. This spouse may also need to "buy out" the other, in which case an appraisal will most likely be required to determine the home's value and thus the buy-out amount. Before either spouse decides to keep the home, it will be important to consider whether the party buying the home will be able to afford the mortgage, property taxes and upkeep.
While both parties could decide to continue owning the house jointly after a divorce, this means staying attached financially to the ex-spouse for possibly years into the future. For this reason, many couples decide to sell the house. The proceeds can be distributed between spouses in whatever division is decided upon.
There isn't one right answer to how property division should work in divorce, but there can be a lot of wrong answers if the couple involved isn't careful. A Massachusetts attorney with experience in family law can help divorcing couples navigate the confusing aspects of deciding what to do with the family home. This can help the couple to avoid a more serious real estate dispute in the future, and can help everyone involved reach a satisfactory outcome.
Source: nerdwallet.com, "Deciding What to Do With the Family Home After Divorce", Mary Ballin, Oct. 31, 2016