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Divorce and your house: How to handle property

When you got married, one of the first things you did was decide on housing. You purchased a property you love, and you've put time and money into renovating it. Today, it's worth much more than it was when you bought it, but you don't want to move out to make a profit. It's your home, and you want to stay where you are.

Your spouse wants you to sell the home so that you can both get a portion of the proceeds and move on without ties to one another. But are these your only options? What should you do with your property?

Renting your property

If you both agree to move out, one idea is to rent the property to give yourselves a monthly income. This could help increase the spending power for both of you post-divorce. If you do decide to sell the home in the future, you can then decide how much of the profit either spouse receives. For instance, if you put down a large down payment and your spouse did not contribute to the mortgage payments, you may want to negotiate a 60-40 split or other payment arrangements. California is a community property state, which means that the typical divide is 50-50. Keep that in mind if you plan to sell the property or rent it out to another party.

Selling the property

Even if selling isn't something you want to consider, it may be a good option if the goal is to cut ties completely with your ex. Any profits will be split 50-50 unless you and your spouse make other arrangements.

Keeping the property yourself

There are a few things you can do if you want to keep the property. You may be able to buy out your spouse, paying him or her the value of what could be made from the home in a sale. On the other hand, you could offer something else that he or she wants, like a wine collection or other assets. By doing this, you may be able to come to an agreement where you keep the home you love so much but settle your obligation to your former spouse.

These are just a few options open to you. Learning about specific opportunities to divide your assets fairly in your case can leave you better poised to embark on the next phase of your life.

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