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Dividing property in a divorce

One of the most emotional aspects of a divorce is deciding who, if anyone, will keep the house. Your home will have carried memories for years and perhaps even decades, so the decision is bound to be a sentimental one. The most important thing to remember is to keep calm in any big decision like this, and try not to let any arguments that arise get heated. You should try and focus on the concrete pros and cons of keeping the house as opposed to any emotions that you have attached to the idea of it.

What are my options in dividing the property?

There are three general ways to split property during a divorce. The first -- and often the most obvious -- is to sell the house and split the value of the property 50/50 between each spouse. This is often the most simple in regard to negotiations; however, it can make finding homes for both individuals more difficult.

Another option is for one spouse to stay living in the home, and for him or her to change mortgages. This will allow the spouse to pay the other spouse the other half of the value. The final option, as a temporary measure, is for both spouses to carry on living in the home until they find an appropriate way forward.

There is no right answer to deciding how to divide property. Knowing your choices, however, will help you move forward with a mature and even-sided conversation with your spouse. It's important to try and understand each other's needs, and also to think of the best interests of your children if you have any.

Source: Nerd Wallet, "How to Split Home Value in a Divorce," Holden Lewis, Nov. 22, 2017

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