Divorce and the Family Home: An Asset or Debt in Today’s Economy?

Divorce and the Family Home: An Asset or Debt in Today’s Economy?

Author: Long Island Divorce Solutions

Under New York’s equitable distribution statutes, couples often try to settle property division outside of court. Today, the family home may present a conundrum for couples entertaining the idea of divorce.

Until the recent downfall of the housing market in 2008, most people considered their family home an asset or even their largest asset. However, when housing values plummeted and many couples found themselves paying an overvalued mortgage, views of the family home shifted. For some people, refinancing through second mortgages and obtaining adjustable mortgage rates turned into overwhelming debt, foreclosure, and bankruptcy.

According to a July, 2011 New York Times article entitled U.S. Housing Prices Rise Slightly, but Remain Weak recovery for the housing market is not happening any time soon.

For financially minded couples, settling divorce terms outside of court is definitely the most affordable way to end a marriage. Collaborative divorce allows divorce lawyers and spouses to consult outside professionals such as appraisers and financial advisors. Such professionals can estimate home values and advise fair distribution solutions.  Both spouses can get a realistic idea of whether their home is an asset or debt, what the prospects are for selling, or whether they are better off allowing one spouse to live in the home with the children. For some couples, waiting until the children are older and the housing market turns around is more economically feasible. Using Long Island collaborative divorce lawyers may be a divorce option you want to consider.

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