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Making decisions about marital property can be difficult

A house is one of the largest, and perhaps most emotionally loaded, purchases a married couple will make together. At a number of points during the divorce process, the two people parting ways will need to make financial decisions, often including the division of a significant property such as the family home. Divorcing Massachusetts residents who have decided they would like to stay in the marital home are advised to work through a few steps before they decide if this choice is appropriate for them, and if it is, to properly make the transfer to sole ownership.

Divorcing people may decide staying in the house is best for them for various reasons: minimizing disruption for children, a sense of pride or perhaps simply a love for the house. In any case, individuals pursuing this avenue should first determine the cost of a buyout. The two parties must agree on a purchase price for the home, and to do so, they will first need to calculate the total amount of equity they share in the property. They can begin by first agreeing on the current value of the property, and then subtracting what they owe. Couples should know that the purchase price for one spouse may not be exactly half of this amount, as other factors may affect it.

Next, the purchaser will likely need to explore his or her options for coming up with the money. In many cases, the purchasing spouse will give the other spouse some other marital asset to complete the buyout. This could be a tangible asset, such as jewelry or a vehicle, or money in a retirement account. Some people may instead opt to borrow the money from a bank or even from family and friends.

Some divorcing individuals may ultimately decide the home purchase is simply not financially or logistically feasible for them and must accept the reality that they cannot keep the property. People who make this choice should know it is wise to not end up with a financial burden that may hinder their ability to move on and live a happy life. When it comes to making choices about property division during the divorce process, many Massachusetts divorcing individuals consult with professionals, including an experienced family law attorney. He or she can provide valuable advice during what is often a challenging and stressful time.


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