If you're divorcing later in life, there's a good chance you share a house with your spouse. Since this is likely to be one of your most valuable assets, questions about who gets to stay put are sure to move to the forefront.
There is no right or wrong way of deciding who gets the house in a gray divorce. Instead, there are many options to consider, all of which have pros and cons:
- One person stays and the other goes: If this happens, the person who stays will likely have to give up other assets in order to make up for the difference.
- Sell the home: This is often the easiest approach, as it allows you to sell the home together and then split any proceeds.
- The person who purchased the home stays: For example, maybe you purchased the home with separate funds before getting married. In this case, you own 100 percent of the home and have the legal right to ask the other person to leave.
With divorce mediation, you can negotiate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse to settle on the option that best suits the two of you. If your case moves to court, the judge will have the final say about what happens to your house.
While it's important to understand your options, don't focus so much attention on who gets the house that you overlook other assets. You need to take a big picture view of your divorce and property division, as opposed to focusing on one particular asset. This will help you protect your legal rights across the board.