Considerations about your family home during a pending divorce

| Apr 30, 2020 | Family Law |

As you negotiate the process of divorce, you will need to advocate for yourself in order to ensure that you received a fair and reasonable outcome. For many couples, the way that the courts handle their personal assets and debts will be an issue of major concern.

Former spouses frequently do not agree with what the court should do with their marital assets and debts, and those disagreements can turn into entrenched battles in the case of major assets, such as your marital home. Before you dig in your feet and start fighting to retain possession of your home, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basics of how the courts in Colorado will split up your possessions.

The law ensures you receive compensation, even if you don’t stay in the home

People sometimes mistakenly think that the family courts have an all-or-nothing approach to the marital home in a divorce. People think that they can either secure possession of the home or lose out in their investment in the property, but that isn’t how dividing marital property works.

Generally speaking, given that the home represents such a substantial amount of the couple’s acquired asset and wealth during their marriage, the courts will expect the spouses to share equity in their home.

In other words, although your ex could be the one who gets to retain possession of your marital home they will likely have to refinance it and pay you a portion of the accrued equity in the property or the courts will allocate other assets, such as an investment account, to you to offset the loss of that equity. Unless there’s a prenuptial agreement or other unique arrangements regarding its ownership, the chances are very good that you will at least receive a portion of its value in the divorce.

Do you really want to stay in your family home after the divorce?

People become so fixated on the value that their home represents that they don’t stop to think about the emotional impact of staying in the home they shared with their spouse after a divorce.

If a house has significant value to you, such as if it is a family home passed down for multiple generations or if you have a disability for which the home already has accommodations and modifications, seeking continued possession of the home could help you. It could also benefit your children if you have primary custody of the kids you share with your ex.

For many other people, the best outcome might be letting their ex keep the house, particularly if that individual doesn’t have the credit or income to secure and pay a mortgage on their own. Looking carefully at your circumstances and at your reason for wanting the home can help you determine whether pursuing it in the divorce will benefit you or just cause more hardship.

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