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Divorce decisions: What happens to the family home?

The decision to end a marriage is often a difficult one to make. Once made, however, couples in New Hampshire have to make similarly difficult decisions regarding the division of assets and child custody if there are children involved. Many couples who decide to divorce are left grappling with the fate of the family home. Because there are many memories attached to the home, couples are forced to put aside their emotional connections.

There are multiple options when it comes to the family home in a divorce. One option is that the home is sold, and the assets are divided evenly; however, if there is significant appreciation to the house, there could be added financial considerations, including capital gains tax. Another choice is that one spouse keeps the house. The house is refinanced into the name of the spouse who is staying. He or she may have to buy out the other spouse or negotiate a smaller share of other assets in return.

Another option is that both spouses retain possession of the house. This can be a difficult option as the house serves as another connection between two people who are likely seeking to start over. Both owners will have to agree upon maintenance of the house as well as a myriad of other issues involving the property.

Many couples in New Hampshire struggle to determine the best method to divide assets that is fair to both parties. Fortunately, an experienced family law attorney can help a person better understand what share of assets he or she may be entitled. While the process can be time consuming, the decision to divorce is often the first step to a happier life.

Source: NerdWallet, "Deciding What to Do With the Family Home After Divorce", Mary Ballin, Oct. 31, 2016

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