What If You Want To Keep The Home After The Divorce?

Whether your divorce is amicable or filled with animosity, you and your spouse will have to decide what to do with the family home. There are different options available, including buying out your spouse. If you are thinking of exercising this option, here is what you need to know.

What Is a Buyout?

A buyout is just like it sounds. You pay your spouse for his or her share of the home which leaves you with complete ownership of the home. There are risks on both sides of this arrangement. 

If you are buying out your spouse, you could find the costs associated with paying for the home alone overwhelming. You could also feel as if you paid too much for the home if it depreciates in value. Your spouse could be left feeling as if he or she was cheated.

To avoid ill feelings on both sides, it is important that the value of the home is properly determined and a fair arrangement is worked out. 

What Is the Value of Your Home?

One of the first steps to negotiating a buyout is to determine how much the home is worth. A good way to ensure that the perceived value is fair, is for both you and your spouse to write down what you think the house is worth. If both of you have similar beliefs about the value, negotiations will be easier. 

However, if you and your spouse disagree, you will have to use another method of determining value. You can contact a real estate agent and get an appraisal. The agent will base the value on the home and the sale prices of other homes in your neighborhood. 

If you or your spouse is unwilling to accept the value that the agent places on the home, the family court judge can decide for you. 

What Expenses Are Related to the Buyout?

Since you are the spouse buying the home, you can ask to include broker's fees. The fees can help cover expenses related to selling the home. Broker's fees are only allowed in some states, so check your state's laws to determine if they can be included.

If the home is in need of repairs, you can ask your spouse to deduct the costs of some of those repairs from the buyout price. 

One other expense you could incur is related to the refinancing of the home. If you and your spouse were still paying off the home at the time of the divorce, you have to refinance it in just your name since you are buying it. 

You can ask your spouse to help cover the fees related to this, such as the transfer of deeds. 

The best way to ensure that the sale of the home is fair for all concerned is to work with a divorce attorney. He or she can help explain the buyout process in detail and ensure that everything is covered. To learn more, contact Robert G. Moore Attorney at Law