For most couples in New York, their primary residence is the most valuable asset they share. That’s part of what makes deciding what to do about the house so difficult during the divorce process. In some cases, the couple decides to sell the house and split the profits. In others, they maintain joint ownership until their children are grown. Sometimes, one person decides they want to keep the house. There are a few different ways of doing that.
Ways to keep the house
One spouse may be more attached to the house for a number of reasons. They may believe that their children will benefit from staying in the same neighborhood. They might just really like the house, or perhaps they believe it will appreciate in value in the future. If your goal is to keep the house in your divorce, you need to understand how that can work with the division of assets.
There are a few different ways that you may be able to keep the house. In effect, you will need to purchase your spouse’s share of it. Sometimes, this can be done by trading off one asset for another. For example, you might let your ex know that you won’t pursue half of their retirement account if you can keep the house. They may simply agree to this, or you might need to buy them out. Most people do this by obtaining a loan to cover their ex’s half of the equity in the home.
Be prepared to negotiate
However you do it, be prepared to exchange something of value for the house. Understand that your ex-partner and their attorney may try to use your desire to keep the house against you. Make sure to get it valued by a neutral third party before reaching an agreement.