Dealing With the Family Home in a Collaborative Divorce

When it comes to property division, the family home is often the most important asset to consider. This makes sense, as the family home is usually the most high-value asset that a family owns. You may have considerable equity tied up in this property, and dividing it fairly may prove to be quite a complex process. That is true with any divorce, but what about collaborative divorce? How does this process affect how property is divided among spouses? More specifically, how does collaborative divorce change how you deal with your family home? 

In many ways, the same basic priorities and goals are the same. Both spouses want to walk away from the marriage with their fair share. The same rules apply, and the entire process should be handled in a fair, equitable manner. However, a collaborative divorce gives you more freedom, flexibility, and control compared to a litigated divorce. Instead of allowing a judge to decide how your family home will be handled during a divorce, you and your spouse get to decide. The only question is whether you can agree. 

A collaborative divorce becomes much easier when you enlist the help of a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina. Our legal professionals are well-versed in strategies unique to collaborative divorces. In addition, we can help you deal with your family home during this process. Although there are some unique considerations to remember when you choose collaborative divorce, many spouses find that it is the most beneficial choice for all divorce-related concerns, including the division of property. 

Why a Collaborative Divorce is Beneficial in This Situation

First of all, it is important to understand why collaborative divorce such an effective option is when dealing with the family home (or any other piece of valuable property, for that matter). The simple fact is that a judge in a North Carolina courtroom does not understand your family as well as you do. Even though you and your former spouse may have your differences, you both have a greater understanding of the finances of the family, the true value of your home, and how best to proceed. 

A collaborative divorce allows you to take control of the situation and make a smart decision based on all of the various factors that may affect your family. In a litigated divorce, you do not have that same degree of control. For example, a judge may order you to sell your home, whether you like it or not. 

On the other hand, they may decide that one spouse should continue living in the family home, while the other spouse walks away with virtually nothing. There is very little you can do about a judge’s decision once it has been made, and spouses often walk away from these trials with feelings of bitterness and regret. These feelings can fester over time, putting unnecessary strain on the entire family, including the children. 

How to Deal With Your Home in a Collaborative Divorce

When you choose collaborative divorce, all options are on the table. You and your spouse can choose the option that makes the most sense for both of you. While you and your ex might have different ideas about how the house should be handled, the expectation is that you will come to some kind of compromise during negotiations. Your attorney and your spouse’s attorney can also point out the benefits of various options you might not have previously considered. 

So, what are the options? First of all, you could sell your home. This is a good option if you and your spouse view the home as primarily a financial asset. The only question is how the proceeds of the sale will be divided, but that can be worked out during further negotiations. Another option is to refinance the home. This is a good option if one spouse wishes to remain living on the property, as refinancing the mortgage relieves the other spouse of any financial responsibility. In other words, one spouse “buys out” the other. 

You can also trade assets. For example, one spouse might keep the family home, but the other spouse might keep the car, the collection of jewelry, and the summer home in the countryside. As long as spouses are trading assets of equal value, they can come to a fair and equitable agreement to satisfy both parties. Finally, you can delay the entire decision-making process until the children have moved out. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a divorce lawyer, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses deal with their collaborative divorces confidently and efficiently. We understand how important a family home can be in this situation, and we can employ a number of effective negotiation strategies to help you strive for a positive outcome. Whether you want to keep possession of your family home, force through a sale, or pursue some other goal, we can help you move forward effectively. Book your consultation today, and we can immediately start working on an action plan together.