In the absence of a valid prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement regarding the marital home, dividing the marital home is often a main point of contention in a divorce. Should you sell it or stay put? If you are on the fence about this major decision, here are some things you should consider:

Costs

A party who keeps the marital home should prepare for the cost of doing so.

First, you may need to refinance your mortgage and update the title so that the home is in your name alone. To do this, you must qualify for a loan without your ex. There will also be expenses such as taxes, repairs, utility bills and maintenance costs that you will bear alone.

So, before you decide to keep your home, take a look at your finances to determine whether you can afford to do so.

Second, because Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, keeping the house can mean giving up money and other assets to keep the overall property division between the parties fair.

Custody and the marital home

If you have children, the custody decision could have a significant impact on who – if either of you – keeps the marital home. Parents with primary custody may want to stay in the house to preserve a sense of stability and consistency for the children.

Staying in the home can also ensure children continue to attend the same school and community events as they did before the divorce.

Some parents decide to keep children in the marital home while they themselves move in and out, according to parenting schedules. This is an arrangement called “birdnesting,” and it could be an option for parents who are highly amicable and have the means to pay for their own homes as well as the “nest” home.

It may not be up to you

In Minnesota, the courts can direct divorcing parties to sell a home during divorce proceedings either to preserve marital assets, or simply because the parties cannot come to an agreement on their own.

Deciding what to do with your home during a divorce is not easy. However, taking these factors into account may make the decision a little clearer.

Want to discuss the issue further? Contact attorney David K. Meier at 651-738-3433 or via our online contact form.