While fair and equitable distribution of all marital property is a central part of divorce, the biggest bone of contention is usually the house. Both spouses may have strong emotional ties to the marital home that cause them to focus disproportionately on this particular asset above all others. Yet experts point out that getting the house is not always the best outcome for a spouse.
For one thing, a house requires upkeep and repairs that can not only strain the finances of a newly divorced owner, but also demand time and attention that may not be available — especially since the spouse who gets the house often has primary custody of the children. Second, the house may lose its value — unlike assets such as cash and pension plans, which may have greater investment value in the long run.
Depending on the value of other marital assets, the court may achieve the goal of equitable distribution by ordering the spouse who gets the house to make a substantial cash payment to the spouse who lets it go. That can be a much greater boon to someone who is suddenly single than a nice living room or a big front lawn.
And let’s face it: Sometimes the large marital home is simply more house than either spouse really needs when they are on their own. The better alternative may be to agree to sell the house and split the proceeds, giving each spouse more liquid assets to use as they start out their new life apart. For legal assistance in all aspects of divorce proceedings including property division, contact the experienced Bel Air divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC for a free consultation. Call out Hunt Valley, MD office at (443) 589-0150 or contact us online.