Property division: To keep the house, or not keep the house?

One of the main issues divorcing couples in Kentucky face is property division. And when it comes to property division, the biggest questions may involve what to do with the family home. Does one party keep it? If so, what does the other party receive to make it equitable? Do the parties agree to sell the home and split the proceeds? Although being awarded the house may be the goal of each spouse, there are important factors to consider when deciding whether it is truly worth it to keep the house after a divorce.

First of all, it is important to keep in mind the expenses associated with home ownership. This includes making repairs and improvements, paying taxes and purchasing homeowner's insurance. If a spouse cannot afford these expenses, which are bound to come up again and again, then they may decide that parting with the family home is in their best interest.

Second, if it is determined that one spouse will keep the home, the other spouse will naturally no longer want to be responsible for the mortgage. This means that the spouse keeping the home will have to refinance the mortgage so that the ex-spouse's name is no longer on it. That spouse's debt-to-income ratio will be examined; however, a person's income in this situation does not include spousal support and child support until one year has passed.

Third, it is important for spouses to take note of the housing market in their area. Questions that may come up include how long the spouse who is awarded the house foresees living in the home and what the home may be worth in the future. However, it is important to keep in mind that no matter how positive the projections may be, they may not necessarily come to fruition.

For these reasons, divorcing couples may decide that they want to sell the family home. However, if the home is sold for more than what the couple initially paid for it, the couple may be responsible for capital gain taxes, which have been increasing in recent years.

All of this information may be difficult for spouses to process, particularly during a time of heightened emotions such as divorce. Therefore, it may be sensible to seek out professional advice so that one's interests are protected.