Regardless of how amicable a divorce may be, couples in the midst of one may find various sticking points when it comes to the fate of the marital home. During a divorce in Pennsylvania, all marital assets are subject to equitable division. Since it is impossible to actually split the residence a couple has shared, tough decisions about the fate of that home need to be made as the divorce unfolds.
If one party decides she or he wants to keep the house, that spouse may have to purchase the interest of the other. That buy-out amount may depend on an appraisal of the home. The spouse who stays in the home may have to agree to refinance any existing mortgage within a given time frame. Any agreement concerning these issues must be drafted with careful attention to detail, including specific provisions for transfer of the title.
Selling the home is a popular option. However, with the unpredictability of the housing market, there is no way to know for sure how long a home will be on the market before it sells. This means it must be determined who will pay the mortgage and the upkeep and also pay for any real estate sales costs, such as advertising the home for sale.
The home may be the most valuable and sentimental asset a Pennsylvania couple owns. Deciding to keep a marital home may mean sacrificing other valuable assets, and it can also affect future finances. Thinking about the long-term and short-term benefits of keeping or selling a martial home can help each party decide what divorce option may work best for a given situation.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: The Fight for the Family Residence", Caroline Choi, April 24, 2015