The decision to file for divorce comes with numerous practical challenges. People struggle to separate their lives at the end of a marriage, especially because they have likely combined financial resources for years. The more assets married couples share with one another, the longer it can take to settle property division matters. Their most valuable assets are often the biggest complications as they try to resolve disagreements about their resources.
For many couples, the home where they live together is the single most valuable asset that they own jointly. A divorcing individual in North Carolina likely has a lot of questions about their primary residence. The three below are among the most common.
Does moving out mean losing the home?
The actual divorce process can take over a year to complete in some cases. Most people cannot tolerate cohabitating with their spouses throughout a lengthy divorce. However, they may have heard from other people that leaving the family home constitutes abandonment and might lead to them losing their interest in the property. That is not necessarily factual.
Someone’s contributions toward the equity in the home continue to matter for the purpose of property division even if they move out because of the stress on their relationship with their spouse. Not only can someone still expect to receive their fair portion of home equity, but they might also still be able to eventually regain possession or the right to live in the marital home after the divorce.
What is the home worth?
The price of real estate can change dramatically in just a few years. Even those who bought their home within the last decade may not understand what it is worth on the current market. Those who have a home as part of their marital estate may need to work with a real estate agent or an appraiser to determine what the actual fair market value for the home is. Knowing the value of the home is crucial in a divorce where someone hopes to receive an equitable portion of the equity in the property.
Who will live there after the divorce?
For some people, moving back into or staying at the marital home is their biggest priority during a divorce. Other people might happily allow their spouses to stay in the marital home if that reduces the stress on their children. It can be difficult to let go of one’s attachment to the home, especially when it is difficult to purchase a house or find a decent rental nearby.
Those preparing to divorce need to carefully contemplate their answer to these questions to approach the divorce process more strategically. Identifying the top concerns about the most valuable assets from a marriage may help people be more pragmatic as they negotiate property division matters with the help of their legal team.