- Sell the marital home and share the proceeds in some way
- One person remains living in the marital home and “buys out” the person who moves out
- Both of you remaining living in the marital home
- Both of you remain living in the marital home and “nest” to a shared alternate residence
- None of the above and you figure out a unique plan- like selling the house but not until x years from now when your youngest child graduates from high school
Options 1 and 2 tend to be the most popular. Options 3 and 4 are usually less desirable and more short-term solutions rather than life-long lifestyles. Option 5 can be created in mediation to suit your unique needs. But what if two people cannot agree on any option?
It is best to assess the reality of each scenario. What is the value of your home and your mortgage? What is the cost of running the household- mortgage, insurance, taxes, maintenance, repairs, utilities, etc. Can you afford to refinance the mortgage in your name only and buy out the other person? Can you tolerate living together? Can you emotionally and financially handle sharing a nest? Now you can rule in realistic plans and rule out unrealistic ones.
But what if more than one option is realistic and you disagree about what that option should be? This is where a mediator can be very helpful. At Westfield Mediation, LLC, all we do is divorce mediation and we address the issue of how to handle the house all the time. Having a neutral mediator be a part of the conversation helps steer away from the emotional aspects tied to each option and look at the practicality of each scenario. It helps you focus on the future and what will be best for you and your family. While a a judge will likely say you need to go with option 1, a mediator does not make this important decision for you, but works with both of you to reach a resolution.
For more information on divorce and divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M.Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.