Have you heard people talk about some of the more modern approaches to the family home after divorce? For instance, some couples literally share the home, moving in and out with the custody schedule, so that the children do not have to move. They call it “nesting.” Other couples continue to own the house together, perhaps renting it out and using it as an income property.
For you, though, these new approaches feel far too complex. You don’t want to stay that connected to your ex. While you understand that a home is not an asset you can divide like a savings account, you also know that the home is an asset with a financial value. It’s that value that you want to divide.
Selling the house
The easiest way to do this, and the option that most couples choose, is to sell the house. Once it sells, they take the money they earned and pay off the mortgage and any other bills associated with the property. With that debt eliminated, they split up whatever remains. They both take their percentage and move on with their lives. For some, that percentage becomes the down payment on their new home.
The division does not have to be this straightforward. For instance, one spouse may get the home during the divorce, in exchange for other assets. They can then sell it and keep everything. They may feel motivated to do this if they think they can sell it for more than those assets are worth, though this is sometimes hard to anticipate.
Another option is the buyout. This is what people do when one person wants to keep the home and the other does not. The one who wants to keep it gets their own mortgage and buys their ex out so that they own it.
Really, this is just another way of dividing that value. Say you would make $200,000 by selling the house, and you would then split it 50/50 so that you each took home $100,000. The spouse who wants to keep the home just takes their $100,000 in the form of the house itself. They pay their ex so that they get what they would have received through a third-party sale, and everyone moves on with their lives.
This tactic does raise some extra questions, but it works in much the same way, financially speaking, as selling the house outright.
This helps to show you how to divide your home, though it does not touch on every option you have. Make sure you carefully consider everything and look into all of your legal rights in North Carolina.