One of the major decisions that Minnesota spouses must make during the divorce process is what to do with the family home. For many couples, the home is the most valuable asset that they own. Couples may also need to consider how to distribute other assets of value such as retirement accounts.
When making decisions during the divorce process, it is important to consider both short-term and long-term effects. The advantages of a spouse keeping the family home is that living expenses may be minimal if there is no mortgage. Many individuals going through divorce face difficult feelings, so being able to delay decisions on moving can sometimes be a relief. However, the costs to maintain the home are an important consideration.
If the home was purchased when children were growing up but they have moved on, the home may be too large for a single person to need or maintain. This can also make utilities more expensive. Additionally, many single people have difficulty maintaining the mortgage payments on a home that was previously paid for with two incomes. In many situations, a spouse comes to the realization that selling the home and using the received funds to reestablish themselves financially is often a more prudent decision.
One of the often overlooked assets in a divorce are retirement accounts. These accounts are generally divisible in divorce. Spouses should also keep in mind any Social Security benefits to which they may be entitled based on the length of their marriage. A family law attorney can often be of assistance to a divorcing client in negotiating a settlement agreement that takes these matters into account.