Few choices cement a couple’s commitment to one another as fully as buying a home. A shared residence means spending every day together and also commingling income and resources. Couples rely on their home equity as a source of personal wealth and support when they retire or make big financial moves later in life.
However, not every married couple that buys a home together will stay married. What do divorcing couples in Maine do with the homes that they share with one another when they divorce?
They negotiate sole ownership
The equitable or fair approach to property division in Maine requires that people share in the financial value of the home in most circumstances. Especially if there are still young children in the family, divorcing couples may recognize that the best outcome will involve one spouse keeping the family home while compensating the other. Someone may be able to afford the marital home based on their own credit and resources, although they will also have to consider either withdrawing equity for their spouse or allowing them to retain other property that represents a comparable value.
They agree to sell the home
Many divorcing couples may not want to keep their marital home because it has painful memories attached. A fresh start may seem like a better option, and a share of the home’s equity secured after the sale of the property can be exactly what someone needs to lay the foundation for a better future. Some couples agree to sell their homes during their divorces and others have to because a judge requires the sale of the property if they litigate asset division.
Occasionally, couples may also be able to negotiate contracts that allow them to continue owning the home. Families that attempt a birdnesting custody arrangement may agree to ongoing joint ownership. Those who want to fix up the property before selling it or treat it as an investment property may also agree to continue joint ownership.
Each couple has unique considerations that will influence how they handle their property when they divorce. Those who agree on the terms can file an uncontested divorce, while others may need to prepare to present their case to a judge if they cannot settle their disagreements outside of court.
Thinking carefully about one’s priorities and future can help people set achievable goals as they prepare for divorce in Maine while working with an experienced legal professional to safeguard their interests.