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Family home can complicate divorce matters in Pennsylvania

For many couples, the family home may be the most valuable asset. It may also be the asset that both parties are the most emotionally attached to at the time of a divorce. Pennsylvania couples who are navigating a divorce will need to agree on the fate of a marital home in order for both parties to move forward after the split. Making and adhering a formal agreement can also help avoid pitfalls and problems such as foreclosure or credit issues that could result from not agreeing to a plan.

One plan couples may consider is to sell the home. Even though a divorce may be pending or have been finalized, both must agree on a list price and a plan of action if the house does not sell within a certain time frame. If a couple has an acrimonious relationship, but they still need to work together for the closing on the sale of their house, one solution may be for one party to physically attend a closing and the other party to fax pre-signed paperwork.

Another common plan is for one parent to remain in the home for a certain number of years, such as during the children's childhood. This means each party must decide on who pays the mortgage. If the plan is to sell once the children are grown, details of how to split the profit need to be worked out among the partners.

The housing market is simply unpredictable. This means couples in the midst of a divorce may have inflated notions of profit or expectations if a home is sold or is to be sold at a later date. Pennsylvania couples also need to consider credit implications, loan issues and future finances when planning for the fate of a martial home after a divorce regardless of the type of plan a couple agrees to once a sale is complete.

Source: The Washington Post, "The hardest part for parting couples: What to do with the house", Allison Klein, June 19, 2015

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