You’ve probably heard a line to a famous song sung many times before — “breaking up is hard to do.” When writing those lyrics, the songwriter was most likely referring to the emotional baggage that comes with leaving a boyfriend or girlfriend behind. It’s unlikely that they referring to the financial burdens that come with splitting assets when couples divorce.
Figuring out what to do with the house is perhaps one of the most difficult decisions to make when spouses go their separate ways. Couples are often faced with making one of of two choices in such situations. They can either sell the property and split the proceeds, or one spouse can buy their ex’s ownership stake in the marital home.
If you decide to sell it, you might want to try a short sale. If one of you is intent on keeping it, it’s important that you have a proper value assessment of the property. If you’ve been married a long time, then you’ll want to keep in perspective that it may be valued far more now than you or your ex’s actual original purchase price.
Your collectibles and sentimental belongings
Household items like collectibles may be hard to part with. Likewise, your furniture may have been something that took a lot of effort to find or is unique. You may not want to give it up so easily.
The best case scenario is that you and you ex will know how much your different household items mean to each of you and you can walk away with what you want. However, divorces often get contentious. If you and your ex have lived in the home with special items for an extended period of time, you may have both developed an appreciation for them. Neither of you may readily agree to part with them.
If neither of you can decide what to do with your household items, you’ll want to have an independent third-party evaluate and assess these items’ value. After this valuation, you two can either amicably split what’s there or leave it up to the court to decide the fate of your marital property.