When you’re sorting out the details of a divorce in Massachusetts, you need to consider everything from debt, division of assets and child custody to alimony and child support. One of the most difficult issues to deal with, however, may be the shared house(s) and mortgage(s). There are many different options for divorcing couples. Let’s go over some of the more common ones.
“Buyout” your spouse’s half of the house
For someone in a good financial situation a “buyout” may be the best option. One spouse can buy out the other spouse’s half of the house. This only works of course, if the cash is on hand to fund it, or they can qualify for a new mortgage. Do not rely on an online estimator to value your home. Contact a local real estate professional to get an accurate price opinion, or find an appraiser to value your home.
Sell the property/ split the profit
If the market is good for selling, then this may be an attractive option. If you can sell the house and split the profit, you can move forward post-divorce having washed your hands of that aspect of your ties to each other. Not to mention that in Massachusetts you will not owe federal tax on your home sale profit portion if you meet this criterea:
• Your profit it doesn’t exceed $250,000 (filing single).
• The home was your principal residence for two of the past five years.
• You haven’t used the home-sale profit exclusion in the past two years.
Wait for the children to move out, then sell and split the profits
It is not uncommon when children are involved, for one parent to remain in the home with the children while the other one moves out. This would require a bit of a longer term plan for selling the house once the kids have grown up and moved out. For many families this is the best option, however it does require a level of amiability and trust between the divorcing spouses. There are things to consider like fluctuating property values, or wear and tear/ failure to maintain the house resulting in value loss or foreclosure.
Both spouses keep the house and alternate living there with the children
This is a rare option, but for some people it makes sense. The children stay living in the house and the parents alternate living in the house with the children and living in their own separate homes. Splitting the expenses, each parent would deduct the expenses they paid, such as mortgage interest and property taxes. This could be quite hectic depending on the location of all of the homes, but sometimes it is what’s best for the children. Of course, once the kids grow up there needs to be a plan to “buyout” or sell and split the profits.
Contact An Experienced Cape Cod Divorce Lawyer
If you have any further questions regarding real estate and divorce in Massachusetts or if you’re looking for representation in your divorce or child custody battle, please don’t hesitate to contact Attorney Mike Saurez.
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