Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.

– Denis Waitley

Divorce • Family law • estate planning
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Sale of the family home in a divorce

All too often when people are experiencing a divorce, they find themselves in the unfavorable position of having to sell the family home. One common reason for the sale of the home is that they recently purchased the home, and the mortgage payment is too high. Since one of them must find a second home, it is no longer feasible to allocate such a large portion of their combined incomes to the cost of maintaining the family home. Another factor that can force the sale of the family home is that the home contains a lot of equity, and neither spouse can afford to buy out the share of the other spouse.

In many instances, one spouse has not worked in several years and must finance his or her education so as to increase their marketability in the work force. Usually, their current income is insufficient to finance that education, and the sale of a valuable asset, such as a house, is the only way to achieve that objective. Still another possible reason for the sale of the family home is that one or both spouses participate in behavior that causes them to have large legal fees that necessitate the sale of a valuable asset in order to pay the debt.

Divorce often creates a financial crisis for which neither spouse is prepared. When one or both spouses realize that they need to increase their cash flow, they consider selling the family home because that is the item that can most easily be sold. However, one spouse may object to the sale of the home because it may disrupt the stability for their children, who are already upset by the divorce proceedings. If the couple recently purchased the home, there may be insufficient cash equity to cover the costs of the sale, and thus, the sale could generate an additional debt.

If you are contemplating getting a divorce and are considering selling the family home, you should consult a family law attorney.

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