Outside of a generations-old business or a priceless antique, the matrimonial home generally represents a couple’s largest asset. Many couples will often select one of two common pathways regarding the home: sell it and split any profits or one spouse buys out the other’s stake in the asset. Additionally, one spouse might elect to keep the home when balancing the rest of the property in division. The spouse might keep the home, for example, and give up any stake in the retirement fund. In recent years, however, many couples have elected to co-own the home after the divorce has concluded. Reasons can include:
- Using it as an income property: Based on the location, market and type of home, many couples decide to continue ownership of the house and rent it out. Neither spouse continues living in the matrimonial home and the spouses can split the income gained from renters. It is not uncommon for the couple to turn the home over to a management company for the day-to-day operations so there is no forced interaction between the former spouses.
- Reading market fluctuations: Many couples choose to rely on the advice of a realtor during the divorce process. Depending on the real estate market and whether the buyers or sellers are in power during a transaction, the realtor might suggest that selling the home at a later date could dramatically impact the potential profits.
For many, the house becomes an integral part of the overall financial picture for the future. From providing stability to the children to both parties taking the profit and moving far away to start their own futures, what happens to the matrimonial home is often a key factor in the divorce process.