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Why the marital home can become a sticking point in any divorce

While the process of dividing marital property in a divorce can be unsettling and perhaps slightly embittering, most couples are nevertheless able to keep their emotions in check and work toward mutually acceptable solutions, such that each side is happy with their share of the finances and the furniture.    

There is at least one item, however, that often proves to be harder to address during divorce negotiations: the marital home.

That's because for some spouses, the marital home is a source of both good memories and a certain level of comfort -- particularly if the couple has children. For other spouses, however, the marital home is a source of bad memories and a potential financial headache, meaning they want to unload it as soon as possible.

As you can imagine, these conflicting feelings can result in scenarios where both spouses want to keep the home, one spouse wants to keep the home and the other wants to sell, and both spouses want to sell the home.

The easiest scenario from a legal standpoint may be where both spouses want to sell, as outstanding mortgage debt and/or profits derived from the sale will be divided equitably under state law. While this often means a 50-50 split, the presence of certain factors (i.e., significant income disparity) might dictate a different apportionment of debt and/or profits.

In the event a couple elects to go this route, experts indicate that there are a few things they should keep in mind to help expedite the sale of the marital home and ensure that relations remain civil.

For example, it's important that both spouses agree on finding a realtor capable of maintaining complete neutrality and selling the home during a time when demand is high.

What all of the foregoing really serves to illustrate is that property division -- especially as it relates to the marital home -- can prove to be especially complicated. As such, it's important that a person has an attorney with the extensive experience and skills needed to handle these complex matters by their side.

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