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How can you divide your home during divorce?

There are times when people have only one or two major assets. To resolve a divorce and come to a settlement agreement, that asset has to be valued. Once it's valued, the couple has to agree on how to divide that item's value.

In the case of the marital home, California's laws are straightforward. The state is a community property state, which means that both parties hold an equal share in marital property. This means that if you have to distribute the property after divorce, each of you should be given approximately half the value of the home in one way or another.

That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to sell your home, but that is one way to resolve your situation. A few other options are to buy out your spouse and take over the mortgage, if you have one, to rent the property and split the proceeds, or to continue living in the property together and then split the sale profits upon the sale of the home.

How should you divide your marital home?

Some people decide to sell the home right away. Whatever profits come from the sale are then split between the spouses. This is one solution, and it's probably the easiest one to pursue.

Another option is to continue sharing the home. People who want to co-parent or participate in bird nesting might do this. Once their child is grown, they may agree to sell the home and split the profits.

A third option is to buy your spouse out of their interest in the home or vice versa. For instance, you may offer them a lump sum worth their estimated profits from the sale of the home in order to remain in the home yourself. On the other hand, you could also suggest they take another asset or multiple assets that are equal or close to equal in value with the property.

The fourth option is to rent the property. This can be a good idea if you're both looking for monthly income instead of wanting to sell the home. You can collect rent and split the proceeds.

Each of these, as well as other unmentioned options, could work in your case. You can speak with your spouse about these options and consult with your attorney on how they'll affect your property division settlement when you go to court.

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